That’s what Field Yates of ESPN Boston thinks. The New England Patriots have a trio of cornerbacks set to hit the free agent market in Aqib Talib, Kyle Arrington, and Marquice Cole, and their order of importance is quite clear and in that order. The Patriots would like to bring Arrington back, and Arrington has stated repeatedly that he would like to stay with the team as well. This is because Arrington is familiar with the Pats scheme, is a guy who has embraced the Patriot Way, is a capable starting slot corner, is young, and he can also play the run better than most corners in the NFL. That is something the Patriots value highly, especially in the slot.
But Yates predicts that the New England Patriots will not be able to sign Kyle Arrington, because he will get more money somewhere else. He believes Arrington will get a deal similar to what Aaron Ross received with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is three years and $15,3 million.
$5 million per year for Kyle Arrington seems like an unwise use of coin, and I doubt the Patriots would match that offer. The popular opinion on Arrington in New England is that he is an ineffective corner, and that’s something most Pats writers disagree with. Arrington is awful as a traditional corner on the outside since he just doesn’t have the skill-set for that (he gets burned too much). But in the slot, Arrington is solid. He is actually slightly above-average in coverage in the slot, and he is a menace against the run with solid ball skills and does a great job on nickel blitzes.
I’m sure the Patriots would love to bring Arrington back, but I could also definitely see another team giving Arrington plenty of money. They will look at his age and the stats from his 2011 season, and they will also look at the fact that Ross is a worse player than Arrington and received that kind of a contract. Sadly, Yates’s assertion has a good chance of coming true, but it would be better for the Pats to pass on paying Arrington $5 million a year than to keep him at that rate. I hope a team doesn’t jack up Arrington’s price, but it is certainly possible.
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