The New England Patriots are in an interesting position when it comes to cornerback.

The team heads into this offseason with solid depth. The group is headlined by veteran starter Jonathan Jones and blue-chip prospect Christian Gonzalez.

Jones was phenomenal last season. Opposing quarterbacks completed 36% of their passes with the veteran in coverage. Jones allowed only one touchdown in 2023. Gonzalez looked like a legit No. 1 cornerback in the first four games before going down with a season-ending injury. The first-round pick covered AJ Brown, Tyreek Hill, Garrett Wilson, and CeeDee Lamb to start his career.

After those two, however, the Patriots have several unproven cornerbacks on their roster. The team released J.C. Jackson last week. Its starting slot cornerback Myles Bryant is an unrestricted free agent, which leaves Marcus Jones, Shaun Wade, Alex Austin, Isaiah Bolden, Marco Wilson, and Azizi Hearn on the roster.

An All-Pro returner, Marcus Jones is extremely athletic but still has something to prove on defense before he earns the Patriots starting slot cornerback position. After the team cut Jackson, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Patriots show interest in more cornerback depth in free agency.

Here are five players who could fit:



The Patriots had interest in bringing Gilmore back before he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys last offseason. The 33-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year would add a nice veteran presence to the Patriots secondary. Last year, he started all 17 games for Dallas and finished with 68 tackles, 13 passes defended, and two interceptions. Gilmore would also be a great mentor for Christian Gonzalez.


If the Patriots want to swing big and add a great slot cornerback, they can turn to Moore. A former Patriots undrafted free agent, he’s been one of the best inside cornerbacks in the NFL since 2022. Moore earned Pro Bowl honors in 2021. Last year, he finished with 93 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and three interceptions with two returned for touchdowns. Moore would give the Patriots a dangerous secondary with Jonathan Jones and Gonzalez.


The Patriots have a chance to add a veteran slot cornerback and an All-Pro returner. Nixon is the best kickoff returner in the NFL. He’s earned first-team All-Pro honors the last two seasons. He led the NFL in kickoff return average (26.1) last year. He’s also been the Packers’ slot cornerback. Last season, he finished with 80 tackles, six passes defended, and an interception. Nixon could replace Jalen Reagor as the Patriots kick returner and Bryant as their slot cornerback.



If the Patriots want to bring in a veteran with the ability to play outside and inside cornerback, Jackson would be an ice fit. The 28-year-old started last season as the New York Giants slot corner before moving to be the starting outside cornerback. Jackson started all 14 games played with the Giants. He finished with 63 tackles, eight passes defended, and an interception. He would add solid depth to the Patriots cornerback position.


If the Patriots want to add a veteran slot cornerback, they could turn to someone like Hill. He was Carolina’s inside cornerback last season. He finished with 48 tackles, six passes defended, and a pick-six interception. Hill had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in 2020 when he was the Rams’ starting cornerback. He was in Cleveland in 2021 where he overlapped with several current Patriots assistants (Alex Van Pelt, Scott Peters, and T.C. McCartney).

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