|Kyle Arrington signs 3-year deal with Ravens||05.13.15 at 6:50 pm ET|
That didn’t take long.
Arrington was released after he would have earned $3 million this season and count $4.6 million against the salary cap.
The cornerback spent six seasons in New England and was an all-around good guy who was well-respected in the locker room. Arrington played in all 16 games in five straight seasons, before playing in 14 this past year. He had nine total interceptions, including seven in 2011.
This leaves the Patriots with no starting cornerbacks remaining from their Super Bowl winning team last year.
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|Patriots announce release of CB Kyle Arrington, addition of TE Fred Davis, OL Kevin Hughes||05.11.15 at 4:56 pm ET|
The Patriots announced a series of moves on Monday afternoon, releasing cornerback Kyle Arrington and signing tight end Fred Davis and free agent offensive lineman Kevin Hughes. The following is a portion of the statement issued by the team on the moves:
Arrington, 28, has spent the last five seasons with New England after joining the Patriots’ practice squad on Sept. 21, 2009. The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, was signed to the New England 53-man roster from the practice squad on Nov. 8, 2009. Arrington originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Philadelphia out of Hofstra in 2008. He began the 2008 season on the Philadelphia practice squad before finishing the season on the Tampa Bay practice squad. Arrington began the 2009 season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad but was signed to the 53-man roster prior to the Buccaneers‘ season-opener against Dallas. He made his NFL debut against the Cowboys on special teams. Arrington was waived by Tampa Bay on Sept. 14 and joined the New England practice squad on Sept. 21.
Arrington has played in 87 NFL games with 56 starts and has 310 total tackles, nine interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, 48 passes defensed and 63 special teams tackles. In 2011, he tied Charles Woodson and Eric Weddle for the NFL lead with seven interceptions. Last season, Arrington played in 14 games with four starts and finished with 33 total tackles, 1 sack, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and seven special teams tackles. In addition, he returned a fumble on a kickoff 9 yards for a touchdown in the win vs. Cincinnati on Oct. 5, 2014 and returned a blocked field goal 62 yards for a touchdown in the win vs. Miami on Dec. 14, 2014.
Davis, 29, is a veteran of six NFL seasons (2008-13) with the Washington Redskins after entering the NFL as a second-round draft pick (48th overall) out of USC in the 2008 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 247-pounder, has played in 72 NFL games with 43 starts and has 162 receptions for 2,043 yards with 13 touchdowns. His best statistical season was in 2011 when he caught 59 passes for 796 yards with three touchdowns.
Hughes, 26, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the St. Louis Rams on July 29, 2011 out of Southeastern Louisiana. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder, began his rookie season on the Rams’ practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Nov. 19, 2011. He played in three games that season as a reserve on the offensive line. Hughes was released by St. Louis on Aug. 27, 2012 before being signed to the San Diego practice squad on Nov. 21, 2012. He then signed with Green Bay on Feb. 1, 2013 but was released on Aug. 31, 2013. Hughes signed with Carolina on Feb. 4, 2015 but was released on March 10, 2015.
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In the wake of the report Monday morning that said he was going to be released by the Patriots, cornerback Kyle Arrington took to Instagram to make an announcement.
|Patriots set to release CB Kyle Arrington||at 10:46 am ET|
The Patriots have informed cornerback Kyle Arrington that he will be released, according to a league source.
The veteran, who was acquired by the team in 2009, has served as New England’s primary slot corner over the last few seasons. The 5-foot-10, 196-pounder had his best season with the Patriots in 2011, when he finished the year with seven picks and 66 tackles. In his six seasons with New England, he had nine interceptions and 291 tackles.
While there is a chance that Arrington could return at a reduced rate, the move continues an offseason of change at the cornerback spot for the Patriots, who have already seen starters Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner leave in free agency, as well as the release of veteran Alfonzo Dennard.
The news was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN.
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|After Alfonzo Dennard reportedly expected to be released, resetting Patriots depth chart at cornerback||05.05.15 at 1:10 pm ET|
This offseason for the Patriots, no position has undergone more upheaval than cornerback. New England has seen Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner depart as free agents, and it has added veteran free agents like Bradley Fletcher, Robert McClain and Chimdi Chekwa.
More change took place on Tuesday, as the Patriots are expected to cut loose Alfonzo Dennard. A seventh-round pick out of Nebraska because of character issues — he was reportedly involved in a fight with a police officer shortly before the 2012 draft. The 5-foot-10, 204-pounder had plenty of positive moments over his first year-plus in New England, starting 16 games in his first two seasons with the club and coming away with four picks and 19 passed defensed in that time.
But he fell off the radar screen toward the end of the 2013 season. Part of it was due to injury issues, as a nagging shoulder problem continued to persist. In addition, he was pushed down the depth chart prior to the 2014 season when the Patriots picked up Revis and Browner in free agency. After a year where he barely saw the field — Pro Football Focus had him for just 241 snaps in 2014 — he was reportedly cut loose on Tuesday.
So where does that leave the New England cornerback situation? Here’s a quick look at the position at this point in the offseason:
Malcolm Butler: While he doesn’t figure to be a starter right out of the gate, the Super Bowl hero will likely play a greater role in 2015 than he did as a rookie last year.
Logan Ryan: Like Butler, it figures to be a big year for the Rutgers product, who will likely be asked to step into a full-time starters’ role for the first time in his professional career. He’s already spent a sizable amount of the offseason working with Will Sullivan, who thinks Ryan could be on the verge of a breakout year.
Kyle Arrington: The slot corner figures to be back in that capacity as the 2015 starter in New England’s base defense.
Bradley Fletcher: Fletcher and Robert McClain are the two newcomers who the Patriots are looking toward for contributions this season. The 6-foot, 200-pound Fletcher, who was a lightning rod in Philly last season, was released by the Eagles and picked up by New England this offseason. The 28-year-old has spent six years in the NFL, and has eight picks and 58 passes defensed.
Robert McClain: The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder is going into his sixth season in the NFL, and has three picks and 21 passes defensed. The former seventh-round pick of the Panthers has had an up-and-down career — he was a key part of an Atlanta secondary that helped the Falcons get all the way to the 2012 NFC title game. But has been relatively uneven since then, although that could have been a part of some overall roster dysfunction in Atlanta.
Chimdi Chekwa: The former Raider inked a new deal with the Patriots this offseason. The 6-foot, 190-pounder out of Ohio State was likely added as a depth signing at corner — his real strength appears to be special teams.
Darryl Roberts, Jimmy Jean: We’ll lump the two rookies in together, at least for now. Roberts was a seventh-round pick who put up eye-popping numbers at Marshall’s pro day, including an impressive 3-cone time. Meanwhile, Jean is a bigger corner who might end up making the switch to safety at the NFL level.
|Patriots position-by-position breakdown: Cornerback||02.16.15 at 7:00 am ET|
With the Patriots done for the season, we’ve got an end-of-the-year position-by-position breakdown of where the Patriots stand. We’ve looked at special teams, wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, quarterback, offensive line and safety. Now, it’s the cornerback position.
Depth chart (regular-season stats via coaches film review): Darrelle Revis (49 tackles, 2 INTs, 14 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble recovery), Brandon Browner (26 tackles, 1 INT, 6 passes defensed), Kyle Arrington (33 tackles, 1 sack, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles), Malcolm Butler (14 tackles, 4 passes defensed), Alfonzo Dennard (15 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass defensed), 1 fumble recovery), Logan Ryan (36 tackles, 2 INTs, 6 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble)
Overview: In much the same fashion the Patriots underwent an Extreme Makeover at wide receiver at the end of the 2006 season, they did the same thing at cornerback this past offseason. While the overhaul at wide receiver prior to 2007 wasn’t enough to get them over the top, it was just enough this time around, as the New England secondary was a difference-maker throughout the season and into the playoffs.
While Browner was sidelined for the first four games because of a suspension for a 2013 violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the impact was immediate, as second level corners like Dennard were immediately pushed down the depth chart in favor of top-shelf talent like Revis and Browner, and teams that had feasted on the New England corners in previous years were shut down across the board. While there was a mixture of man and zone over the course of the season, Revis was able to lock down most of the No. 1 receivers he ended up going head-to-head with, while Browner was a versatile and feisty presence who worked equally well against bigger targets, which included receivers and tight ends.
For the most part, the rest of the corners were able to fill in nicely around Revis and Browner: Arrington was a quality presence in the slot for most of the season, while Butler provided nice depth, eventually emerging on the biggest stage against the Seahawks in the title game. (More on that shortly.) Ryan occasionally struggled in coverage, and teams started to understand that if you had a deep passing game and wanted to test the Patriots, you stayed as far away as possible from Revis and Browner. Meanwhile, Dennard was an afterthought, struggling with injury for most of the year before going on season-ending injured reserve in December.
Going forward, the whole offseason starts with Revis: he is technically under contract for 2015, but his cap hit is so enormous it’s debatable as to whether or not the Patriots can think about bringing him back at that total. Presuming he finds a way to stick around – from this viewpoint, he’ll be around for at least one more season – that would allow the rest of the corners to slot neatly into place for another season. Browner, Butler, Ryan and Arrington are all under contract for 2015, while Dennard now likely faces an uphill battle for playing time against a Super Bowl hero in Butler. He could end up being cut somewhere down the line if the roster numbers don’t add up or if the Patriots try and add to their depth at the position either in free agency or the draft.
Best moment: Prior to Super Bowl XLIX, there were a ton of memorable performances by the New England cornerbacks, including the work that Revis did against a several of high-profile receivers, including A.J. Green and Sammy Watkins. (There was also the high-energy jolt of Browner, who played with an edge and made plenty of receivers think twice when it came to going over the middle.) But you’d be foolish not to pinpoint the performance of Butler at the end of the Super Bowl, jumping the route and picking off the Russell Wilson pass for Ricardo Lockette. It was a great play on several levels, but maybe the most impressive things about Butler’s execution was the fact that he was beaten on the play the week before in practice by the scout team duo of Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Boyce. When the play happened in the Super Bowl, he was able to recognize what happened and make the biggest play of his career.
|Patriots using San Diego trip earlier this year to prepare for weeklong stay in Arizona||01.25.15 at 7:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — This coming week’s trip to Arizona won’t be the first time the Patriots have spent a week preparing for a game away from their usual confines of Gillette Stadium, as the team spent a week in San Diego in December prior to their game with the Chargers.
New England played Green Bay in Green Bay on Nov. 30 and then the Chargers the following Sunday night. Instead of traveling back to New England and then across the country again a few days later, the team instead went right to San Diego and spent the the week there.
Fullback James Develin said the experience could help the team a bit for what is to come this week in Arizona.
“I think so,” he said. “It’s always valuable to have some kind of experience like that – going away for a long period of time, but really, we’re just looking at this week and just trying to prepare for it the best we can and just try to get ready for Seattle because they’re a very good team.”
New England played one of their better games of the season after their week out West — a 23-14 win over the Chargers.
For kicker Stephen Gostkowski he doesn’t care where the Super Bowl is and where the team has to spend a week — as long as his family gets there, that is all that matters to him. He said the things will still be the same as the Patriots will still need to have their old saying, “Ignore the noise.”
“I mean, we don’t think about that stuff,” Gostkowski said. “We just worry about the game and the people who handle the logistics deal with that and we just worry about making sure our family and friends get down there safely and we enjoy the experience. At the same time we have a job to do and it’s all focus on the game, really. We could be playing in Missouri and we wouldn’t care. It’s the Super Bowl, it’s exciting, we’ve stayed at hotels before, nothing is different. There’s just going to be a big spotlight on it and we’re just going to deal with the distraction and ignore the noise.”
Cornerback Kyle Arrington joked how getting away from New England at time of the year is good no matter what, but having their families with them, unlike in December, will be a positive thing.
“Well, ideally, it’s nice to go somewhere warm this time of year and not be in Foxboro, but it was a good experience being out in San Diego for a week and being away,” Arrington said. “This time a lot of guys will have their families out there in Arizona, so it will make it less difficult.”