BOSTON (CBS) — As the Patriots prepare for their first preseason contest this week, Bill Belichick continues to take a contemplative look at the roster.
That includes some potential tinkering and additions, as the Patriots reportedly worked out free-agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland on Tuesday.
Earlier this offseason, Breeland agreed to terms with Carolina on a contract but failed his physical due to a non-football injury. The deal was reportedly for three years and $24 million, with $10.5 million guaranteed.
The injury was reportedly a cut on Breeland’s foot, one that got infected and would render Breeland unable to pass a physical for several months.
The 26-year-old cornerback was drafted out of Clemson by Washington in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He’s played in 60 out of a possible 64 games, starting 57 of them and recording eight interceptions, 59 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles, one sack, and 271 total tackles. He returned an interception for a touchdown in 2017, and also got his first work as a returner, bringing back 10 kicks with a 20.8-yard average. He’s played in one playoff game in his career, recording seven tackles (five solo) with a forced fumble in a loss to Green Bay in the 2015 postseason. Pro Football Focus listed him as Washington’s best defensive player for that season.
Stephon Gilmore is locked in as the Patriots’ No. 1 cornerback, though an open competition seemingly remains for the starting position on the opposite side of the field. Veteran Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe figure to be the main possibilities, but a player like Breeland could seriously change the landscape of the Patriots’ defensive backfield, if the Patriots were to make such an addition.