5 Reasons Recently Cut CB Kyle Arrington Makes Sense For Ravens
The New England Patriots announced the release of veteran cornerback Kyle Arrington Monday after a six-year run.
A return to New England at a reduced rate has not been ruled out. Arrington was a scheduled $4.625 million cap hit, which the Patriots seemed to feel was too much given his diminished role last season to just 40 percent of defensive snaps.
But other teams will likely show interest in Arrington, and CSNBaltimore.com's Bo Smolka says he would be "shocked if the Ravens don't kick the tires on him."
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder would make plenty of sense in Baltimore, adds The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
"It's a little too early to determine how much – if any – interest that the Ravens will have in him, but this we do know: Despite drafting Tray Walker in the fourth round, the Ravens have remained interested in adding a cornerback, and they obviously know Arrington well with the number of times they've played the Patriots in recent years," he wrote.
Zrebiec gave five reasons why Arrington would fit in Baltimore:
1) The Ravens are still looking for a cornerDespite being set with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb, the Ravens could add depth. Baltimore reportedly kicked the tires on other free-agent corners, including Perrish Cox, Cary Williams and Tramon Williams. So they appear to be in the market, but have yet to add an experienced veteran along with some of the youngsters on the roster.
2) Arrington brings slot experienceESPN's Mike Reiss recounted how Arrington worked his way up from a practice squad player to the Patriots' top slot corner. He hasn't always been effective on the outside, but Arrington has performed well against slot receivers, including Victor Cruz, Wes Welker and T.Y. Hilton. Meanwhile, the Ravens could use slot experience after losing Corey Graham to the Buffalo Bills last year.
3) Special teams contributions"As everybody who has followed John Harbaugh's teams know, the Ravens are always looking to improve their special teams groups," wrote Zrebiec. "The Ravens have yet to re-sign Jeromy Miles, one of their core special teamers the past two years, and Arrington certainly would be a quality replacement."
4) Maryland nativeIt doesn't hurt that Arrington is from Accokeek, Md., and went to Gwynn Park High in Prince George's County.
5) Knows what it takes to winIf Arrington signed with the Ravens, he would go from one winning organization to another. He was part of four AFC championship teams, and two Super Bowl teams.* *"If he doesn't re-sign with the Patriots at a reduced rate, going to another team that is a perennial playoff contender would likely be a priority," wrote Zrebiec.
Hensley: CB Tray Walker A Work In Progress
Perhaps a sixth reason Arrington would make sense in Baltimore is because fourth-round cornerback selection Tray Walker might need some time to develop.
Walker has coveted size at 6-foot-2, 191 pounds, but coming from a small school (Texas Southern), there is a big leap in the talent level. ESPN's Jamison Hensley picked up on that as he watched Walker guard first-rounder Breshad Perriman at rookie minicamp this weekend.
"Walker is a work in progress, which was the label on the cornerback coming out of Texas Southern," Hensley wrote. "He had a rough practice in trying to stay with Perriman in one-on-one drills.
"Walker has physical tools. His arms are the longest I've ever seen on a cornerback. The challenge for the Ravens is to coach him up on technique."
Ravens Switch Levine From Corner To Safety
The Ravens are shifting Anthony Levine from cornerback back to his natural safety position, according to The Sun's Aaron Wilson.
Levine moved to corner last year due to multiple injuries sustained at the position, including placing five cornerbacks on injured reserve. Now that the team is healthy, Levine can move back to safety despite holding up well at corner. Levine finished last season with 23 tackles, four passes defensed and added six special teams tackles.
A former undrafted free agent, the Ravens didn't tender Levine this offseason, opting instead to re-sign him to a two-year deal reportedly worth $2.4 million.
"Levine drew interest from other NFL teams before deciding to remain with the Ravens," wrote Wilson.
Star Of Rookie Camp? Undrafted WR DeAndre Carter
There's already an undrafted rookie who is getting the most buzz after just one weekend of rookie minicamp.
"Here's a name to watch among the Ravens' undrafted rookies – wide receiver DeAndre Carter," wrote CSN's Clifton Brown. "While Ravens coach John Harbaugh was reluctant to rave about specific players after rookie minicamp, it was clear Carter had left a positive impression."
It will be an uphill battle to make team, given how crowded the receiver position is with Steve Smith Sr. Perriman, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro seemingly roster locks. But Carter could make a name for himself on special teams.
The Ravens are looking for their top punt and kicker returner after Jacoby Jones was released earlier this offseason.
"Meanwhile, Carter's skills as a receiver should not be underestimated," Brown wrote.
Carter had a prolific college career, churning out 99 receptions for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns. That said, it was against lesser competition at a small school.
"Carter's stature is the biggest knock against him. He stands just 5-foot-8, but he plays much bigger like another Ravens' receiver, Steve Smith," Brown added.
Ravens Weren't Paid For Military Tributes
Website NJ.com reported that the Department of Defense has paid $5.4 million in taxpayer money to 14 NFL teams, who used some of the money to pay for costs associated with holding patriotic ceremonies.
According to a United States Government website, the Ravens received $884,500 from the Department of Defense from 2011-13. The contract indicates spending went toward display and advertising.
"The Baltimore Ravens say they were never paid to honor the military as part of their contracts with the government," wrote Hensley. He added that part of the deal included a Maryland National Guard patch on the Ravens' practice uniforms.
Head Coach John Harbaugh has shown strong support of the armed forces long before 2011. He took part in the annual NFL-USO coaches' tour of the Middle East in 2009, and he established Military Appreciation Day in 2008. As part of the day, an estimated 8,000 service members attended training camp, per Hensley.
"We don't make public our contracts with sponsors and/or suite holders," Ravens Senior Vice President of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne told The Sun. "I can tell you that in our agreements with the National Guard there is no mentioning of honoring the military or individual soldiers."
Brown: Why Brady's Suspension Is Longer Than Rice's
The NFL announced Monday that Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the season. (Brady's agent already said he plans to appeal.) Additionally, Commissioner Roger Goodell handed out the biggest team fine in NFL history at $1 million. The Pats will also lose a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017.
It took a matter of seconds for the comparisons to start.
How could the league come down so hard on Brady, but initially only give Ray Rice a two-game suspension for domestic violence last year?
"I've seen comparisons being made on social media," wrote CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown. "I think the NFL got Rice's suspension terribly wrong the first time. Does that mean the NFL should continue getting suspensions wrong? I think Brady deserved to be suspended. Two games would have been fine. But a four-game suspension isn't crazy, not considering how Brady handled this, and that he has the right to appeal. If Brady had nothing to hide, he should have been more forthcoming and defended his integrity more vigorously. If guilty, Brady should have admitted his mistake, not denied it.
"Call me naive, but I don't think it's common for teams to tamper with footballs after the league has inspected them in the hours leading up to kickoff. That's a premeditated act to circumvent the rules. Plain and simple, that's cheating."
Meanwhile, Hensley writes about how Brady's jab to the Ravens after the divisional playoff round has come back to haunt him. Harbaugh was flagged during that game as he was trying to get the refs' attention for the way the Patriots were using substitutions, which caused confusion over eligible and ineligible players.
"Maybe those guys (have) got to study the rule book and figure it out," Brady said on Jan. 10.
The league has since created rules that will make such substitutions illegal in the future.
"It remains to be seen whether Tom Brady's four-game suspension will help out the Baltimore Ravens in the long run," Hensley wrote. "For now, the Ravens can privately take satisfaction that football karma apparently exists."