New England Patriots Release Kyle Arrington, Continue Overhaul of Cornerback Position


The New England Patriots have decided to cut ties with cornerback Kyle Arrington, who has been with the team since 2009. Arrington is now the fourth cornerback from the 2014 team that will be playing elsewhere in 2015.

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ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss first reported the news late this morning.

It seems that the Patriots were not inclined to pay Arrington $3 million this season. There’s a chance he could return on a discount.

No matter how you slice it, though, the Patriots are scarily thin at cornerback right now. Darrelle Revis is in New York, Brandon Browner is down in the Bayou, Alfonzo Dennard is in the desert and Arrington is on the street.

When he played in the slot, Arrington was one of the most efficient and useful players on the entire Patriots’ defense. If the Patriots don’t re-sign him quickly, Arrington ought to get a call from a team in need of a solid slot corner.

His 5-foot-10, 190-pound did not hinder him in the slot, but when he played on the perimeter, that’s where he struggled. In Super Bowl XLIX, previously unheard of receiver Chris Matthews torched Arrington on several occasions en route to a stat line of 109 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Arrington’s shortcomings in outside coverage nearly cost the Patriots the game.

That being said, Arrington had been a Patriot for some time, and it will be odd not having him on the team should he sign elsewhere. By releasing Arrington, the Patriots are communicating that they have a plan for the slot. Free agent addition Robert McClain resembles Arrington with his small stature and could assume slot duty.

In 86 games with the Patriots dating back to 2009, Arrington recorded 352 combined tackles, 48 passes defended, and nine interceptions (seven of which came in the 2011 season, when Arrington actually led the league in picks). While at times he was a poster boy for the New England secondary’s struggles, Arrington will be remembered as a hard worker, a capable defensive back, and a true Patriot.

Moving forward, it looks like Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler will be an integral part of the Patriots’ plan at cornerback. Third-year pro Logan Ryan will also figure prominently into the secondary. The release of Arrington also opens the door a little wider for seventh-round pick Darryl Roberts to break on to the roster.

Hopefully, the Pats are able to finagle a deal for less money with Arrington sooner rather than later. If not, we wish Arrington luck in the rest of his career.

Read more about where Arrington could end up signing.