With the secondary not addressed in the draft and questionable depth behind the injury prone duo of Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb, any CB to be released will likely be brought up as a potential target. Kyle Arrington is no different. As a small (5"10 190) cornerback, Arrington spent 7 years with the Patriots after coming into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He has had some solid production over the years, appearing in 87 games.
But questions remain due to his release from New England. The Patriots are a cornerback needy team, having lost starters Darelle Revis and Brandon Browner in the off-season. Their depth chart currently reads Super Bowl hero (and undrafted 2nd year player) Malcolm Butler, reclamation project CB Bradley Fletcher, 2013 3rd rounder Logan Ryan, and a bunch of low level free agent and waiver wire types. So the big question is, why are they releasing a player like Arrington?
With Alfonso Dennard it made sense, due to his myriad of off the field issues. But Arrington is a positive locker room influence, a veteran of Belicheck's system who can teach the young players, and was only due to make $3 million this season with a $4.625 million cap hit.
Here is what Richard Hill of Pats Pulpit had to say about him:
Arrington is a really good slot corner with some ST value as a gunner. The Patriots were overpaying him at $4mm per season, but I really don't see why they cut him. He was a good locker room influence and he did whatever the coaches asked.
Just, for the love of all that is holy, don't ask him to cover outside on the sidelines. He's Bradley Fletcher-on-Dez level when outside. He shuts down T.Y. Hilton type players with ease, which might actually be good if yall play DJax and Agholor 2x. "
He would seem to fit our need for a backup slot CB behind Webb. Most of our cornerbacks other than Webb are of the tall, lanky outside variety: Jimmy Smith, Rashaan Melvin, Tray Walker, Chris Greenwood. Tramain Jacobs and Asa Jackson are smaller, but Jacobs has zero NFL experience and Asa has not looked good in limited time, not to mention getting injured on a regular basis. So Arrington is attractive to me on a low level deal where he has to beat out competition, like the ones we signed with Aaron Ross and others last off-season. What about you?