Entering the 2015 season, the one position on the New England Patriots with the most uncertainty surrounding it was cornerback. Gone were the Super Bowl starters and they were replaced with young, mostly inexperienced players. One of those players was an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee: Justin Coleman.
Coleman was signed by the Patriots in early September and was quickly able to become the team's primary slot cornerback. Overall, he appeared in 12 games and played 27.5% of all defensive snaps. In short: Coleman was one of the positive surprises of the 2015 Patriots.
Due to the nature of his contract with New England, the 23-year old was set to enter exclusive rights free agency on March 9. Naturally, given his contributions in 2015, the team offered him a tender sheet to keep him in the fold. Yesterday, a Patriots press release made official that Coleman has signed that sheet.
This means that New England's cornerback depth chart will stay intact at the top entering the preparations for 2016. Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan are penciled in as the starters, with Coleman projected to fight for the number three role, looking to improve on a very promising rookie season.
The release by the Patriots also made two other moves official: running back LeGarrette Blount re-signing with the team and special teamer Brandon King signing his exclusive rights tender sheet.