The New England Patriots have had a far from ideal off-season, to say the least.
The Patriots are currently embroiled in the DeflateGate scandal following the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts that could see Tom Brady miss the start of the season with a suspension. New England also lost star corners Darrelle Revis and Browner in a crushing free agency double blow.
Well the Patriots secondary has just taken another big hit after it was announced that a veteran player had been released today.
According to a tweet from Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the Patriots today decided to cut ties with top slot corner Kyle Arrington in a move that came as a shock to pretty much everyone who saw it.
Top in the Slot
The 28-year old has been the Patriots' top slot cornerback for the past five seasons, ever since he worked his way up from the practice squad to becoming a key part of Bill Belichick's incredibly consistent defense.
Arrington's value was on display in January's AFC Championship Game, when he held Colts star T.Y. Hilton to one catch for 36 yards in a blowout win. Arrington finished 36th out of 108 qualified corners in Pro Football Focus' ratings. In 2011, Arrington led the NFL with seven interceptions.
Arrington was scheduled to earn $3 million this season and count $4.625 million against the salary cap which is almost certainly the reason that New England decided to let go of the seven-year veteran. Reiss hinted that Arrington could return to Foxboro on a reduced salary.
Arrington was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent following the 2008 NFL Draft, before eventually being cut in September of that year. Arrington landed in Tampa Bay for a year before being released by the Bucs and joining the practice squad in New England. Arrington excelled in New England, winning the starting corner spot before the arrivals of Browner and Revis.