Oct 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Browner, Revis Signings Don't Touch on Patriots Most Pressing Need

Revis, Browner Do Add Missing Element

Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, two of the top cornerbacks on the NFL free agent market, have signed with the New England Patriots.

According to CBSBoston.com, Revis’ deal will give the Patriots’ salary cap a $7 dollar hit, despite the cornerback’s $12 dollar salary. The Pats have also exercised a second year to the contract that allows the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer to stay in Foxboro another year for $20 million pay and a $25 million cap hit.

Boston Globe’s Ben Volin detailed that Browner signed a three-year, $17 million dollar contract with the Patriots.

These additions are great for New England’s typically-ruckus secondary.

Browner wasn’t a very huge part of the Seahawk’s suffocating defense in 2013, facing drug suspension issues and only taking part in eight regular season games. The 29-year-old will get a fresh start in the Boston area, and Bill Belichick will definitely enjoy his physical, attacking style of play that recent “Belichickian” secondaries haven’t fully adopted. Browner will have the opportunity to move from cornerback to safety and vice versa, contributing excellent versatility to the secondary.

Revis is a shutdown corner in the same vein of former Patriot Aqib Talib.

Belichick can actually depend on Revis alone to strengthen the Patriots’ defensive backs as he could do with Talib.

The University of Kansas alum played 13 games for New England, greatly improving the pass defense due to his presence. The Pats’ pass defense, which usually ranks near last in the league, ended up falling into the 18th spot in the 2013 regular season, relinquishing an average of 239.0 throwing yards per competition.

Over Both Cornerbacks, Pats Need a Stronger Run Defense

Are Revis’ replacement of Talib and Browner’s signing really what the Patriots require for a Super Bowl birth?

Delving into problems from last season, it was the Pats’ run defense that struggled so mightily in the second half of the regular season, ranked 30th in the NFL in average yards allowed per game.

Granted, in the playoffs (the AFC Championship against the Denver Broncos specifically), spectators saw Peyton Manning throw for a whopping 400 yards, as the Broncos’ running backs barely eclipsed 100 yards. The Patriots, though, played the majority of the contest without their star pass defender Talib.

That’s my point. Revis is a necessary acquisition owing to his likeness to Talib, but the secondary doesn’t need Revis and Browning together over depth and talent on the interior defense, where the Patriots were gashed last year.

Even if Vince Wilfork‘s discontent about re-stucturing his contract ends, the big man is past age 30 and returning from a torn Achilles injury. You can’t bank on Wilfork playing to such high standards based on these circumstances.

The burden will then fall onto Jerod Mayo, who cannot stop the running game single-handedly. He requires a Brandon Spikes-type player alongside him. The Pats have invited Wesley Woodyard for a visit. The ex-Bronco, however, signed with the Titans.

Minnesota Vikings D-lineman Letroy Guion did visit the Pats earlier this week. Still, he’s a rotation player, not really a stalwart to anchor your line.

On the condition that the Patriots want to compete for a 2015 Super Bowl appearance, they will need to seriously push for a run-stopper, in the draft or in free agency, capable of bolstering the interior defense.

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Tags: Brandon Browner Darrelle Revis New England Patriots

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