Kyle Arrington signing bolsters Ravens' secondary

The Baltimore Ravens were priced out of the cornerback market in free agency, and they watched top cover prospects get swiped up in the first round long before they were on the clock.

The Ravens' frustration turned into fortune this week.

Kyle Arrington was surprisingly released by the New England Patriots on Monday, and the Ravens happily reached an agreement with him two days later.

It's as if Arrington just landed in their laps just when they had the cap room. Baltimore created $3.2 million in cap space last month when it signed Jimmy Smith to an extension.

The Ravens addressed their biggest need with the best free-agent cornerback available. Arrington will step in at nickelback and team with starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb to give Baltimore has its deepest cornerback group since the 2012 Super Bowl season.

The addition of Arrington bolsters the Ravens' chances for another Lombardi Trophy. Baltimore's championship hopes were squashed in the divisional playoffs after a run of injuries at cornerback caught up with the Ravens, who couldn't stop Tom Brady when they needed to do it the most.

Arrington is exactly the type of corner that the Ravens wanted. He excels at playing in the slot. He's strong in run support. He's durable. He's an asset on special teams.

No one is saying Arrington is an All-Pro corner. But the Ravens didn't have many options (Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers were the next best free agents) if they let Arrington get away.

Pursuing cornerbacks has been trying for the Ravens. They couldn't compete with the $5 million plus per season deals for the likes of Cary Williams, Perrish Cox and Tramon Williams. They weren't close to getting Kevin Johnson or Marcus Peters in the draft.

The Ravens were going to have to cross their fingers and hope Asa Jackson or Rashaan Melvin could handle the No. 3 corner job.

That was the plan until the Ravens' luck changed. Baltimore was finally able to upgrade at corner, and the Ravens strangely have their playoff nemesis, the Patriots, to thank for it.