Year after year, the New England Patriots find themselves in a quandary about what to do with the secondary. However, this year is different because they finally found a serviceable group of guys when they are healthy. If you don't believe me, please refer to my previous column about the new and improved Patriots defense (here is the link). The Patriots have a few players entering the Free Agency from the Secondary, and here they are:
Marquice Cole made it pretty obvious in the AFC Championship that he was not prepared to be a top cornerback. Although, it is not like he will be asking for absurd amounts of money; thus, I couldn't care less about whether he stays or goes. I just do not want him covering Anquan Boldin or any receiver of his caliber when he is wearing a Patriots uniform. Otherwise, I trust whatever Bill and the coaching staff wants to do with him.
Patrick Chung was one of my favorite players for a while, but my feelings on him are a little different ever since he tried that fake punt at his own discretion against the Jets in the 2011 AFC Divisional Playoff game. He is constantly injured, and even though he hits hard, that attribute in a player is becoming a borderline liability with how the referees penalize hard-hitting safeties. Plus his affinity for destroying the opponent with hits makes him predisposed to late-hit penalties on special teams as well as defense. I don't know how many times I have heard, "the quarterback caught Chung cheating and peeking into the backfield." In addition, Steve Greggory proved to be a relatively good substitute and Chung never won his job back after being injured. These reasons give me the gut feeling to let Patrick Chung part ways with the Patriots while also increasing the search for a good Strong Safety.
With how much praise I lauded onto Aqib Talib, you would think that I would be so aggressive with wanting to sign him, but I am not. Talib has been quiet and really unconvincing that he cares whether he is signed by the Patriots or not. This leads me to believe that he will want a massive contract, and honestly if he does, the Patriots have better options for their money instead of the injury prone and alleged basket case that Talib is. Having said that, Talib brought confidence to the secondary, and by all accounts the team and coaching staff loved him and his drive. Therefore, if he is willing to play with the Patriots without acquiring a lucrative salary, then by all means sign him. Because if we don't sign Talib, or at least someone like Talib, then this could happen (thanks to football-reference and Bleacher Report for the image):
Kyle Arrington, in my opinion, should be an easy sign. The Patriots have figured out how to use him, and that means keeping him in the slot. Slot cornerbacks aren't really hot commodities, so I doubt Arrington will be asking for a lot. In addition, Arrington has spent his career in New England (began on the practice squad and now is a starter), and he wants to be in New England at the same as New England's front office has said that they want him to stay as well. I say sign him.
Per the upcoming Defensive Backs in the Free Agency, besides wanting Darrelle Revis horribly bad for an assortment of reasons, I say NO WAY to Ed Reed. He is old, he has always wanted a lot of money, and I am not sure he will even be able to function in a few years if he is already losing his memory.