Yesterday, the New England Patriots parted ways with former fourth-round wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell. The move created an open spot on the team’s 90-man offseason roster and the Patriots might look to another former fourth-round draft selection to fill it: according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, New England brought in free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland for a workout earlier today.
Breeland started his career in the NFL in 2014, when he was drafted by the Washington Redskins. He spent the first four years of his pro career with the team and appeared in a combined 61 games as one of its starting cornerbacks. Overall, Breeland registered eight interceptions – one of which returned for a touchdown –, forced eight fumbles, and recovered three of them. He also was a regular on Washington’s special teams units.
Given his past productivity, the 26-year old was a coveted free agent this year and ultimately signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Carolina Panthers. However, the deal was voided after he failed his physical due to an infected wound in his foot. The Clemson product hit the open market again but remained unsigned ever since. Now, he could potentially find a home in new home with the Patriots.
Breeland would enter a deep cornerback group in New England. While Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, and Duke Dawson are locks to make the team, the competition for spots behind them is one of the most intriguing in recent memory: Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Cyrus Jones, Jonathan Jones, Ryan Lewis, and Keion Crossen are all fighting for a maximum of three spots. Breeland would add another body to the battle, and if fully healthy would immediately become one of the favorites to make the squad.