Five things to know about Patriots' agreement with CB Tarell Brown

Tarell Brown (23), shown playing against the Patriots in a 2014 game, signed with New England on Thursday. AP Photo/Stew Milne

The New England Patriots have reached agreement with free-agent cornerback Tarell Brown on a contract, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Here are five things to know about the agreement with Brown.

This gets our endorsement. Many of us enjoy playing the "general manager" game, whether it's fantasy football or suggesting moves for a team of interest. Brown was a player I believed made perfect sense for the Patriots given the combination of need and the player himself (point No. 8). So, in the spirit of lighthearted analysis/reporting, I'm sure Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio will sleep better tonight knowing he has our endorsement.

Brown a legitimate candidate to start. At a position in transition, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Brown should compete for a starting role if healthy and returning to past form. At the least, he adds veteran depth. When he signed with Oakland last offseason, Brown was described as a "solid, fundamentally sound cornerback ... who can be a good No. 2 starter." Brown has started 56 games over the last four seasons.

Why was he available? As ESPN.com NFL Nation Raiders reporter Bill Williamson explained in March, Brown broke his foot last December and landed on season-ending injured reserve. That explains why he's been on the free-agent market all offseason, as he worked toward a return to health. Wrote Williamson: "I think he could fit in with the Patriots for the short term. Smart pro."

Made headlines in past with contract snafu. In 2013 with the 49ers, Brown was part of a not-often-seen situation that cost him most of a $2 million escalator in his contract; he didn't know that by not participating in the voluntary offseason program, it wouldn't activate a $2 million clause in his contract. Brown ultimately changed agents and the 49ers gave him a $300,000 bonus as a show of good faith.

Four teams had expressed some level of interest. In an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio last month, Brown said there were four teams that had expressed some level of interest this offseason, which included the Ravens. The Baltimore Sun reported that the Ravens' interest didn't include actively pursuing him. The Sun also reported it's a one-year deal for Brown with the Patriots.