Lost in all the New England Patriots off-season talk has been free agent Kyle Arrington. The 26-year-old cornerback has spent all four seasons with the Patriots but is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 12th. Much of the free agency discussion involving the Patriots has been directed towards free agents Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and Sebastian Vollmer. It appears holding on to all three of those players will be a priority this off-season but bringing Arrington would also be the correct move.
The Patriots are very thin at the cornerback position at the moment with corners Talib and Arrington set to become unrestricted free agents and with cornerback Alfonzo Dennard’s conviction potentially ending his NFL career.
Arrington struggled for the first half of last season as he constantly got burned by speedy wide receivers when he was asked to cover on the outside. But the mid-season acquisition of Talib allowed Arrington to play in the slot position in the secondary, something he feels more comfortable with and the results showed as his play improved dramatically at the end of the season. As long as the Patriots can re-sign Talib or sign another solid coverage cornerback on the outside, Arrington will be able to play to his strengths in the slot and should be re-signed to bolster the secondary.
There is reportedly mutual interest between the Patriots and free agent Arrington. Arrington spoke on Sirius NFL Radio a few days ago to discuss he desire to remain in New England.
“I love my teammates, I enjoy being here and definitely want things to work out; there’s mutual interest on both sides as far as trying to get something done. But it’s a business. So you just have to let it play out and see where the chips fall.”
Arrington also spoke about the “Patriot Way,” as he was proud to see that Tom Brady took less money so the Patriots would have more spending money in free agency.
“I think it’s just being the ultimate professional and team player. Take Tom Brady as the latest example, what he did with his contract, for the team. A lot of things play into it — professionalism, things like that. It’s not a hard thing to buy in to.”
Arrington understands the “Patriot Way” and what it means to put on the New England Patriots uniform and the privilege it is to play for Bill Belichick. Arrington proved he can thrive in the slot cornerback position and the Patriots would be rise to re-unite with the corner that has yet to reach his potential in the NFL.