New England announced on Monday that they have released Kyle Arrington. Arrington had been due $3 million this season, none of it guaranteed.
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss had the first report of Arrington's impending departure. A reunion between player and team "has not been ruled out," according to Reiss.
Arrington, 28, has been the Patriots' top slot cornerback for the past five seasons. His 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, he led the NFL with seven interceptions.
If Arrington does not return at a lesser salary, the Patriots will defend their Super Bowl title without their three top corners from last season. Darrelle Revis signed with the Jets in free agency, and the team didn't make a play to retain Brandon Browner. Malcolm Butler and Bradley Fletcher will likely step into starting roles with Logan Ryan in position to replace Arrington in the slot.