Name: Kyle Arrington
2012 Season: Arrington played in all 16 games for the Patriots in 2012, starting 12. He began the year as the team’s starting right cornerback opposite Devin McCourty. He remained in that spot until the midpoint of the season, moving to the slot position following the team’s acquisition of Aqib Talib, and the emergence of rookie Alfonzo Dennard. Arrington struggled in the early portions of the season, but came on late after moving to the slot (and latter moving back to the RCB position following injuries to Talib and Dennard). On the season, Arrington finished with 74 tackles and 11 passes defensed. According to ProFootballFocus.com, including the playoffs, Arrington was targeted a grand total of 78 times, allowing 50 completions for a rate of 14.6 YPC. He also gave up five touchdowns, and allowed a quarterback rating of 115.8.
Why the Patriots Should Re-Sign Him: The Patriots are extremely thin at cornerback heading into this offseason, and re-signing Arrington could give the team a much needed security blanket at the position. While Arrington had his struggles early in the year, he did prove to be capable in the slot position. In the five games he primarily played the slot, Arrington was targeted 17 times, allowing just six completions and zero touchdowns. He also did not allow a completion greater than 22 yards. If the price is right, there certainly is a spot on the roster for Arrington.
Why the Patriots Should Let Him Walk: The Patriots should let the market dictate Arrington’s price. As I said, Arrington definitely has a role on this team. He’s durable, he’s versatile – but he is far from elite. That being said, if a team comes along and deems Arrington to be a starter, and pays him in the $4-$5 million a year range, I don’t think the Patriots should match. Arrington is good in the slot, but as the last two seasons have shown, he’s a limited player on the outside.
Prediction: Arrington hits the open market, and ultimately re-signs with the Patriots for two years and $5 million.