The New England Patriots continue to scout what’s left of the free-agent market, this time at cornerback.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Patriots brought in free-agent corner Bashaud Breeland for a workout on Tuesday in Foxborough. Breeland, 26, spent the past four seasons with the Washington Redskins.
The cornerback agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers back in March, shortly after the start of the NFL’s free agency period. But the deal fell through after Breeland failed his physical due to cutting his foot while on a trip to the Dominican Republic. According to ESPN’s David Newton, Breeland originally suffered the cut in fourth grade and had to have skin grafted to repair the injury. But Breeland said the injury had never resurfaced as an issue until this year.
Clearly, the Patriots were comfortable enough with Breeland’s injury to take a look at him. Cornerback hasn’t necessarily looked like a pressing need as training camp has progressed, but the replacement for Malcolm Butler at the No. 2 corner spot remains unsettled. If the 5-foot-11, 197-pound Breeland can run at full speed after the foot injury, he’d figure to be in the mix for potential starting snaps. He started 58 of 60 career games with the Redskins from 2014-17.
Behind Stephon Gilmore on the cornerback depth chart, the Patriots are mostly looking at Eric Rowe and Jason McCourty for the second outside spot. Rookie Duke Dawson has gotten first-team snaps in the slot. They also have some young players who have flashed in camp, including second-year corner Ryan Lewis and undrafted rookie J.C. Jackson.
In addition, the two Joneses, Cyrus and Jonathan, returned to full pads at Tuesday’s practice – but they remain limited in terms of team drills. If Breeland ends up signing with the Patriots, he should immediately be considered a legitimate candidate for the 53-man roster.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.