Patriots free-agent fit: Cornerbacks

Fifth in a multipart series on free-agent fits at various positions leading into the start of free agency March 10.

Position: Cornerback

Players under contract for 2015: Kyle Arrington (2016), Brandon Browner (2016), Malcolm Butler (2016), Alfonzo Dennard (2015), Logan Ryan (2016), Dax Swanson (2015),

Level of need: Moderate to high

Projected top targets: Kareem Jackson (Texans), Darrelle Revis (Patriots)

Why Jackson fits: A 2010 first-round draft choice of the Texans, he played under Nick Saban at Alabama, has extensive starting experience in the NFL, and is in the prime years of his career. At 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds, he doesn't fit the profile of the taller, longer cornerback that the Patriots trended towards in 2014, which could make some question the fit. But he could also have some position flexibility and would factor into the special teams mix as well.

Why Revis fits: He's arguably the best in the game. His fit was seen on a day-in and day-out basis -- on and off the field -- in an excellent 2014 season with the Patriots. He pretty much changed everything for the Patriots' defense.

Other names of note: Darius Butler (Colts), Antonio Cromartie (Cardinals), Chris Culliver (49ers), Brandon Flowers (Chargers), Byron Maxwell (Seahawks), Patrick Robinson (Saints), Buster Skrine (Browns), Cary Williams (Eagles), Tramon Williams (Packers), Jimmy Wilson (Dolphins).

Market conditions: There is Revis (assuming the team doesn't pick up his 2015 option) and then an obvious drop-off in free agency. The draft is considered solid, but not overwhelming at the position.

Cornerback-based questions: Will Revis be back in 2015? How does the team view Browner's $2 million roster bonus due March 10, which would essentially commit them to a $1.9 million base salary for 2015? Can Butler's Super Bowl interception propel him to a larger role? What happens with Dennard, who dipped in his third season? How does the team view Arrington's $3 million salary?