The New England Patriots are clearly making some changes on the backend of their defense with the team reportedly releasing veteran cornerback Jalen Mills.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news on Friday.
Mills dealt with a groin injury in the 2022 season, and he was only on the field for 10 games. He finished the year with two interceptions, five pass deflections and 31 tackles.
The move does leave the Patriots a bit vulnerable on the backend of the defense. Granted, they still have Jonathan Jones, Marcus Jones and promising cornerback Jack Jones. But they are currently lacking in cornerback depth, which is an area they could either fill through free agency or the draft.
The decision to move on from Mills also signals the Patriots could be looking to sign a free agent safety. Mills recently commented on safety being his original position, which created conversation about him possibly stepping in to replace the recently retired Devin McCourty.
But that obviously isn’t going to be the case.
Patriots are releasing defensive back Jalen Mills, per source. The release saves about $5 million against the Patriots’ salary cap.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2023
As Schefter pointed out, this move saves the Patriots $5 million against the salary cap. So it’s a cap casualty that could potentially put the team in position to help address other needs on the roster.