NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee has traded linebacker Akeem Ayers to the New England Patriots in what coach Ken Whisenhunt says gives the linebacker a fresh start.
''A situation that was probably the best for both parties,'' Whisenhunt said Tuesday night on his weekly radio show. ''Somebody that was interested and we got something out of it. It's good for us, it's good for Akeem, and wish him the best.''
The Titans traded Ayers and their seventh-round draft in 2015 to the Patriots and will receive New England's sixth round draft pick pending a physical, according to multiple reports.
Ayers had been scratched five of seven games this season in Tennessee where the Titans switched to a 3-4 scheme under coordinator Ray Horton. A second-round draft pick in 2011 out of UCLA, Ayers started 44 of 48 games his first three seasons, including all 16 as a rookie. He led the Titans with 110 tackles and was second with a career-high six sacks in 2012.
But he had surgery to repair the patella tendons in both knees this offseason. With the Titans bringing in veterans Wesley Woodyard and Shaun Phillips along with the scheme change, the 6-foot-3 Ayers fell down the depth chart. He had three tackles this season, all in the 29-28 loss to Cleveland on Oct. 5.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL