The Patriots cut Kyle Arrington earlier this week, voiding the 6.5 million in non-guaranteed money over 2 years remaining on his contract. It was a weird move, as Arrington was a valuable slot cornerback for them, grading out above average in 4 straight seasons, including 21st in 2013, and the Patriots had already lost their starting cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this off-season. Perhaps they thought they could re-sign him a little cheaper, but the Ravens didn’t let that happen.
The Patriots’ loss is the Ravens’ gain as Kyle Arrington fills arguably their biggest remaining need. Things were so bad at cornerback for the Ravens that Rashaan Melvin, a 2013 undrafted free agent who was signed mid-season and made his NFL debut week 15, drew the start for them in the playoffs. Jimmy Smith’s injury was a big part of the problem, as he missed 8 games, but the problem has been there since last off-season, when they failed to find a replacement for Corey Graham, their talented #3 cornerback who signed with Buffalo. Their depth was shaky coming into the season (#3 cornerback Asa Jackson had never played a defensive snap in the NFL coming into this season) and this kind of situation was foreseeable.
Smith will be back healthy next year, after signing a 4-year, 41 million dollar extension, and Lardarius Webb, who graded out above average in every season from 2009-2013 (including 4th in 2011) could have a bounce back year, but the Ravens were left without a solid 3rd cornerback, only adding Tray Walker in the 4th round through the draft. Getting Arrington on a 3-year, 7.5 million dollar deal with 2.8 million guaranteed and taking him away from another one of the top teams in the AFC is a gift for the Ravens.