FOXBORO, Mass – Kyle Arrington seems to be enjoying himself this offseason.
The Patriots slot corner had the best weekend of his life back in mid-March when he got a four-year, $16 million contract on Friday, his son, Junior, was born on Saturday and he and his wife’s anniversary was Sunday. Now, the sixth-year veteran is having a blast playing with Adrian Wilson, who Arrington calls a “classy, classy guy.”
“That’s the big brother right there,” Arrington said about the 12-year veteran safety. “Yeah, yes sir, yes sir. Definitely. He’s a great crafty veteran. Definitely teaches the younger dudes some things. He’s definitely one of those guys that you just love to follow, you can line [up] behind. He just does everything right on and off the field.”
The Patriots’ secondary looks more solid this year than it has since the days of Asante Samuel and Rodney Harrison. They’ll have Arrington, Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard at corner and Devin McCourty and either Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson or Steve Gregory at safety. If Ras-I Dowling can stay healthy, that gives them some extra depth outside, which can never hurt.
Adrian Wilson’s arrival meant a new number for Arrington on top of the new contract and first child. Arrington gladly gave up his No. 24 to Wilson because “it meant more to him than it did to me.” Arrington will wear No. 25 this season.
“I’ve always been one of those guys. Most importantly — just the name on the back,” Arrington said about the number switch. “I just try to be whatever I can to be a team player, to help the cohesiveness of the group gel. I’m all for it.”
Arrington also got a year’s supply of diapers out of Wilson and an agreement for the safety to come babysit Junior one or two times during the season. And Arrington gets to choose when.
“He just — like I said, we just have such high character guys. He just really did that under the nature of his heart,” Arrington said about the diapers. “He did that regardless of the situation if I did it or didn’t give it up. Never really realized, another thing I didn’t realize, you don’t realize how many diapers you go through. They say it’s a year supply, but we underestimated how much he uses the bathroom the other day. We’ll see how long it lasts. I might have to hit [Wilson] up.”
Arrington said he and his wife are waiting for the right moment to ask Wilson to come babysit. He added that it’s nice to know when he’s free since they have the same schedule.
Arrington seems to be gelling with all of his new teammates in the secondary, not just Wilson. The Patriots added some rookie defensive backs from Rutgers, who Arrington doesn’t want to evaluate from a talent standpoint, but he can already see they’ll fit in to the Patriots way.
“I definitely know they’re no different from any other guys we bring in,”Arrington said. “Team-first guys. High-effort guys. High energy. They definitely compete play in and play out. I like them.”
Arrington’s not worried about a Rutgers alliance yet, but he does notice that the rest of the defensive backs are nearly outnumbered by the former Scarlet Knights.
“No, nah, not at all. If you stir that up, there might be though,” Arrington said about a Rutgers alliance. “It’s just one of those things, they’re sort of taking over the team. They don’t realize how strong in numbers they are, but once they do realize, we might be in trouble.”
Of course, Arrington wasn’t just asked about the new defensive backs. He was also asked about the new quarterback the Patriots signed on Tuesday. Arrington said he didn’t believe his wife at first when she told him the news.
“It was my wife [who] actually texted me. I don’t know how she’s always ahead of me on these things,” Arrington said. “She must have an app or something. I said, ‘Get out of here, stop playing.’ When I found out it was real, I said, ‘Oh wow, I can’t wait to meet the guy.'”
Arrington wouldn’t get into the specifics of what the Patriots saw when they were scouting Tebow as a Bronco and a Jet in 2011 and 2012, but he praised the signal caller’s high character and team-first attitude. He also said he “loved” the circus Tebow created in Foxboro on Tuesday.
Arrington seems to love being in New England in general. With a new four-year contract, he said it’s nice to have some security in the NFL.
“Everybody likes stability,” Arrington said. “It’s such a business nowadays in this league. You just focus on not even each year, you just take it one week at a time, one game at a time, one situation at a time. This situation, minicamp, just getting better each day.”
Arrington said it feels good knowing he’ll be in a great organization with a great fan base for a few more years. And if he plays the slot like he did in 2012, the fan base will be happy to have him.