The New England Patriots have two impending free agent corners this offseason in Aqib Talib and young slot man Kyle Arrington, and it is the latter CB who gets less press but has the better chance at staying. Talib is, of course, the better corner, but keeping Arrington would also be a wise decision for the Patriots.
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Although Arrington frustrated many fans with his horrendous first half, he turned things around once Talib was added to the team. This is because Arrington was finally able to move back into the slot, where he is light years better than on the outside. When asked to cover on the outside, Arrington gets burned far too easily, and his signature run defense and delay blitzes are no longer a factor. Now that means the caveat with re-signing Arrington is that the Pats would also have to either keep Talib or bring in another solid coverage CB on the outside, but that would have been a priority regardless of Arrington’s status.
Arrington embraces the Patriot Way as much as anyone, and you can tell that he has the utmost respect of his teammates and the coaching staff. Likely to come cheap this offseason, there is no reason for the Patriots to let their familiar slot corner slip away. Appearing on Sirius NFL Radio yesterday, Arrington stated his desire to stick with the team.
“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.”
It’s great to see that not only does Kyle Arrington want to stay in New England, but the team also wants to keep him. None of this is surprising, but it is still great to hear that the chips will most likely fall in Foxborough.
Arrington also said this about the Patriot Way, “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.”
I think Arrington falls into that category, and one thing that stuck out to me from the season were his comments during his struggle early in the season. He was allowing a QB Rating of over 150, which was one of the worst totals among corners. But he said that he would keep working through it and had not lost his confidence. Soon after, Arrington shook off the slump and started to put together a string of four or five solid games in coverage.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.