After parting ways with their top two extra cornerbacks from last season, the Patriots bolstered the position by reaching an agreement with unrestricted free agent Tommy Knight.
According to ESPN.com, the five-year veteran agreed to a two-year contract worth $1.65 million with the Super Bowl champions. A first-round pick in 1997 for Arizona, Knight has played his entire career with the Cardinals, mostly as a starter.
With incumbents Ty Law and Otis Smith still in place, Knight looks to be in competition with 2001 draft picks Leonard Myers and Brock Williams for the nickel job. Last season veterans Terrance Shaw and Terrell Buckley manned the job. Shaw was released and signed by Oakland. Buckley is still available and could return, but the signing of Knight removes urgency from such a move.
Arizona did not plan to bring Knight back, and has now lost both its starting corners from last season. Part of the reason the Cardinals allowed Knight to leave through free agency is Knight's injury history. He has started 53 of the 64 games he played in five seasons, but also is coming off a season in which he missed seven games. A former Iowa star, Knight has been held back at times by injuries, and he appeared in just nine games last season. The ninth pick in the 1997 draft, Knight has 233 tackles, three interceptions and 37 passes defensed.
Neither the Patriots nor Knight's agent, Tom Condon, were available for comment Wednesday morning.