Looks like the New England Patriots are attempting to make sure a familiar face stays in the secondary.
According to the Boston Herald, the Patriots will be meeting with cornerback Kyle Arrington‘s representation at the NFL Combine to discuss a deal.
While Arrington isn’t a great defensive back, there comes a sense of urgency with second-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard in legal troubles and the non-guaranteed return of Aqib Talib (it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play at the beginning of the year), so the Patriots are claiming their stake and attempting to bring back some familiarity on the defensive side.
The Herald also notes that on March 12th, Arrington will become an unrestricted free agent, so by attempting to re-sign him before that date it allows the Pats to maintain leverage in the negotiating process.
But Arrington isn’t that great of a cornerback. For most of last season he started alongside Devin McCourty, but was soon replaced on the depth chart by Dennard forcing Arrington to cover the slot where he works best. And with the acquisition of Talib mid-season, it allowed Arrington to remain in the slot instead of being constantly outmatched as the started left cornerback.
And despite his struggles as a starting cornerback, his stats since entering the league vaguely reflect that. Since 2009, Kyle has caught eight interceptions, including seven in 2011 which was tied for the most in the league with Charles Woodson and Eric Weddle.
Considering what could be the worst-case scenario for the top two cornerbacks on this roster, re-signing Arrington will mostly pertain to insurance and defensive back depth. And being on a team that has struggled defending the pass for the past few years, quality depth is an absolute must for New England.