The Patriots have reportedly made their first external free agency signing as the new league year approaches, set to begin at 4pm on Wednesday. According to the reports, New England has agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million deal with former Texans cornerback Terrance Mitchell. The move comes on the heels of the Patriots losing J.C. Jackson to the Chargers as the signing helps pad their depth at a major position of need with a proven NFL vet.
Mitchell has spent time with five NFL teams since being selected by the Cowboys in the 7th round of the 2015 draft. After making just 22 starts in his first five seasons, Mitchell started all 16 games for the Browns in 2020 and 13 for the Texans in 2021, playing the vast majority of his snaps on the outside. He forced three fumbles in each of those two seasons as he showed a consistent knack for punching the ball out. One of those was against Damien Harris last season. He also had 18 passes defended, good enough for sixth in the NFL while he was with the Chiefs in 2017.
Scouting reports on Mitchell when he was coming out of Oregon said that he fit more into an off-man Cover-3 system, as he's definitely not the kind of man coverage specialist that has been popular in New England for the past decade. This was a needed move for depth, but Mitchell's experience and upside should give him the opportunity to compete for meaningful snaps.
After spending Monday focusing on their internal players, then making two reported trades with the Browns and Bucs on Tuesday, it appears the Patriots are now starting to dip their toes into the external market to begin filling out their roster holes.