The Patriots have reached an agreement with free agent cornerback Tarell Brown, according to Dianna Marie Russini and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Terms of the deal have yet to be reported, but I’d imagine it’s a modest, short-term contract that will give Brown a chance to compete for a regular-season roster spot.
Brown, 30, made multiple visits to the Patriots earlier in the offseason, first in March and again in May. The veteran cornerback, who spent most of his career with the 49ers before joining the Raiders last year, didn’t receive much interest from Oakland when he became eligible for free agency this winter, as the Raiders opted to go younger at the cornerback spot.
Having started 14 games for the Raiders in 2014, Brown logged exactly 1,000 snaps for the team before he was shut down with a foot injury. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Brown’s -4.6 grade placed him 75th out of 108 qualified cornerbacks, though he only allowed one passing touchdown on 67 passes thrown into his coverage.
For the Patriots, Brown will provide some much-needed veteran cornerback depth for training camp and the preseason, and perhaps the regular season as well. While Darrelle Revis‘ departure for the division-rival Jets was the most notable shake-up in the Patriots’ secondary, and will have the biggest impact on the group for 2015, Brandon Browner also departed in free agency, signing with the Saints, and the club cut Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard as well.