The Patriots have "gauged the trade market" for the defensive end, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.
The former Carolina Panther was acquired by the Patriots this offseason along with a third-round draft pick in exchange for New England's second-round selection.
No Patriots trade rumors should come as a surprise with Bill Belichick running things, especially after several reports surfaced this summer that Ealy was struggling throughout training camp.
It's been an up-and-down career for the 25-year-old Ealy, whose most notable performance came in Super Bowl 50 when he racked up three sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception in the Panthers' loss to the Denver Broncos.
The pass-rusher was originally expected to play a significant role on the Patriots' defense this year, but it now sounds as though those plans could be in jeopardy.