Now, he'll have to keep it going as he'll enter the 2011 season with higher expectations.
Arrington, Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Ras-I Dowling, Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite and Thad Turner are among the cornerbacks who will battle for five or six spots.
Why He'll Make the Team
Arrington was a tremendous special teams contributor in 2009, and he played well during his first significant reps on defense in 2010. He's strong and extremely athletic, and he would be a good asset as a backup cornerback on the outside. Arrington's spot would always be of use since he's one of the Patriots' best special teamers, too.
Why He Might Not Make the Team
Arrington, Butler and Wilhite figure to be slotted at Nos. 4-6 on the depth chart at cornerback, and there's a possibility that one of them gets cut. Butler should be safe because he improved at the end of last season, and he's two years removed from being a second-round pick. Arrington has the most value on special teams, and he was higher on the depth chart at cornerback than Wilhite last season. However, it's possible that Wilhite has more value as a slot corner than Arrington, which seems like a minor detail but could come into play if one of the three gets cut.
If the Patriots only keep five corners, the competition could be between Arrington and Wilhite. Based on momentum from last season, Arrington should be in position to keep his spot on the roster. And again, due to his value on special teams, it would be surprising if he got released.
Every day through Aug. 1, Jeff Howe will spotlight one player who could potentially be on the Patriots' roster bubble.
Tuesday, July 26: Wide receiver Brandon Tate
Thursday, July 28: Safety James Sanders