Patriots face a big decision with Talib

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Last year, Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib hit the open market.  And he ultimately returned to New England on a one-year, $5 million deal.

Next month, that contract expires.  And Talib once again will become a free agent.

Per a league source, early indications are that the market will be more robust for Talib in 2014 than it was a year ago.  Which will require the Patriots to step up, if they want to keep him.

It’s unclear whether that will happen.  Owner Robert Kraft recently addressed the situation on 98.5 The Sports Hub from Radio Row in New York.

“Well, we want to retain all the good players we can retain,” Kraft said, via Tom Curran of CSN New England.  “It’s not like we have unlimited funding so . . . He wasn’t on the field a lot of the time since he’s been with us. It’s a balance of us balancing all that out and what is he worth.  I think he’s happy here and would like to be here and we’re happy with him and we’d like to have him here and now it’s just about doing business.”

Last year, Talib appeared in 13 regular-season games.  And after he exited the AFC title game following a hit from Broncos receiver Wes Welker that prompted an uncharacteristic outburst from coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots’ defense simply couldn’t keep up with the Denver offense.

Talib’s situation presents a separate concern.  Although he has been well behaved since being traded to New England in 2012, Talib has a history of off-field incidents that could make the team less inclined to make a long-term investment, given the Aaron Hernandez fiasco.  If they do — and if Talib reverts to his past behavior — the Patriots will look even more foolish for trusting a guy with a bad track record.

Other teams may be willing to take that risk, especially since other teams didn’t pay Aaron Hernandez big money less than a year before he allegedly committed murder.

The Pats have an exclusive opportunity through March 8 to negotiate with Talib.  As of March 11, he hits the market.

The reality is that, by if not before the Scouting Combine, Talib will have an idea as to what will be behind Door No. 2 as of March 11, if he chooses not to accept whatever the Pats put behind Door No. 1.

69 responses to “Patriots face a big decision with Talib

  1. Come to the JETS and be apart of our dynasty under future HOF head coach Rex Ryan and future HOF defenders like Big Mo Wilkerson and Sheldon “You wish I was drafted by your team” Richardson.

    J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!

  2. Let him go NE and SF will pick him up before the ink is dry. Big cover corners are at a premium. Copycats want to load of with Richard Shermans.

    Dare I say, Denver will take him?

  3. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    Any NFL agent is going to know what teams are interested in paying how much money and for how long before they are “allowed” to negotiate with other teams.

    If Talib wants to stay (and I think he does) then it comes down to whether what the Pats are willing to pay is in the same ballpark as another team come March 8th.

    If Talib’s goal is to be with a perennial contender, he’ll take less than top dollar.

    If his goal is to take as much money as possible, potentially with a perennial loser, then he’ll go elsewhere.

  4. What did I miss? Why do the Patriots look foolish in the first place? For signing Talib? For drafting Hernandez?

    Please enlighten us.

  5. It’s amazing that many think Talib will be unemployed for any amount of time. I guess those are the same ones who knew Peyton would kill the loud mouth Seahawks.

    Are will still listening to them?

  6. If New England knew what was good for them they will. He is a proven producer and a guy to build a defense around. The Patriots defense is a lot better with him being the number one corner. Don’t Ty Law this man Robert Kraft. Do what you have to do to keep him or suffer the consequences of a horrible secondary of 2011-2012. But if you do let him go you better sign or draft a great replacement. Talib is not perfect but he is playing close to it at this moment. Draft Darqueze Dennard as a replacement if you must. Like his his cousin he is ‘5″11 but he plays like ‘6″1. Do something but don’t just ignore it and hope for the best with a cheap alternative. You cannot afford not to pay talent anymore. You have one of the youngest teams in the NFL. Get experienced playmakes on your defense or else prepare for the worst defense in NFL history. It’s a passing league Kraft! Get with the times or get left behind! Smart with making money, but dumb with player spending. Make the right choice even if he does get hurt. Also draft play making depth. Instant starters!

  7. Come back to Tampa. That coach who hated you is long gone, and I want my jersey to be relevant again. Just don’t pnch taxi drivers

  8. “hartleechung says:
    Feb 8, 2014 2:16 PM
    Jets need to worry about the QB position. Unless they want Talib to pick off Geno Smith.”
    **********
    Rookie QB leads his team to 8-8 and they need to be worried about QB? Last time I checked Geno had fewer INTs than Peyton as a rookie and had fewer than Eli this year. You might add that he had fewer receivers than an Oklahoma triple option team, in the Barry Switzer era.

    How much did you win betting with Peyton in the Super Bowl?

  9. Belichick LOVES him. Plus he knows he can’t draft a DB to save his life. He keeps Talib and squeezes Wilfork to a new deal. Wilfork is $7M cap hit.

  10. Don’t see any deluded Pats fans that can’t seem to recognize its a business decision for Talib. Nice try..

  11. qdog112 says:

    ” Last time I checked Geno had fewer INTs than Peyton as a rookie and had fewer than Eli this year”

    Peyton holds the all time NFL rookie interception record. So, literally every player who has ever thrown a pass in the NFL can claim the same thing.

    Not really making a good case for your boy Geno there.

  12. well, Bill has learned that you pay your QB, you pay your LT, and you pay your unique nose tackle.

    he has stayed with this formula, and when he went away from it(henandez) it bit him. that said, they seem to love talib, but do they love him enough for 5/50?

  13. 2012 new england PASS Defense WITH Talib = 29th in NFL

    2013 new england PASS Defense WITH Talib = 18th in NFL

  14. ziggystheansah says:
    Feb 8, 2014 2:01 PM
    I say resign him, but if they’re that concerned about his off the field issues and durability, make majority of his contract incentive based
    ————-

    What makes people think Talib would sign a heavily incentive laced contract when he is sure to have multiple suitors? Someone will offer him big guaranteed money.

  15. What? You mean that he is still not in Jail? Oh, never mind, he threw his mother under the bus for that one.

  16. Value has two distinct definitions…….1 what are the results when you are ON the field and 2 what are the

    results when you are NOT. One only need look at the AFC Championship. THEN…look at the Super Bowl to see the value of a true shutdown corner….PAY THE MAN ……..THEN FIND ANOTHER ONE JUST LIKE HIM!

  17. The Pats have usually been the team that has taken chances on guys with ill “character”. Moss, Spikes, hernandez. But they have been good on the field, so they need to get more depth at a couple positions

  18. “it’s just about doing business”

    Mr. Kraft…that sounds very much like something your current “girlfriend” would say…

  19. Belichick has a great record drafting Dlinemen, so so record with LB, and poor with drafting DBs. I’d love to see them keep Talib.

    Assante Samuel is by far the best corner BB has drafted to date, but he had Rodney Harrison over the top to cover the glaring misses he made trying to make INTs at times. Plus that was before the concussion lawsuit rule changes and Rodney could really lay out a receiver and not draw penalties.

    After Sante the next best is probably McCourty who as a corner makes a great safety, and Dennard who has been good but is not a shutdown corner, plus has the off field issues.

    Do the smart thing BB, keep Talib a Patriot, please.

  20. As long as tom brady continues to overthrow his receivers it doesn’t matter who is in the secondary.

  21. Here’s the problem with not signing him. The patriots have to find another CB and Belechek has failed every time he tries to replace one. Look what happened when they let Asante Samuel go, drafted a corner every year and couldn’t match the production. Sign Talib and get a good safety

  22. I hope he signs with he Pats but I am 99% sure he is going to the Redskins (and his former coach Raheem Morris)

  23. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that Aaron Hernandez has nothing to do with Talib, and that the outcome of one distinct gamble on a player with “character concerns” has no influence on another. I would expect that someone like Mr. Kraft understands this. He’s not an idiot.

  24. hartleechung says:
    Feb 8, 2014 2:16 PM
    Jets need to worry about the QB position. Unless they want Talib to pick off Geno Smith.
    ———————————————–
    Geno is 1-1 against Brady’s Pats. Too bad, so sad !

  25. You cannot afford not to pay talent anymore

    You may not be aware that the Patriots probably can’t re-sign Edelman because they’re almost up against the cap.

  26. .

    Let the buyer beware. You may think you’re getting the New England Talib, but end up with the Tampa Talib.

    .

  27. Pats have no choice but to keep him. Most likely scenario will be the franchise tag. With Talib, Wilfork, and Mayo, the Pats defense is respectable-to-pretty-good. Letting him walk opens them up to 4 more years of JAG 2nd and 3rd round busts. Here’s looking at you Ras-I Dowling, Darius Butler, Terrance Wheatley, Jonathan Wilhite, and Tavon Wilson.

  28. gopats413 says:
    Feb 8, 2014 2:49 PM
    qdog112 says:

    ” Last time I checked Geno had fewer INTs than Peyton as a rookie and had fewer than Eli this year”

    Peyton holds the all time NFL rookie interception record. So, literally every player who has ever thrown a pass in the NFL can claim the same thing.

    Not really making a good case for your boy Geno there.
    ******************
    Geno’s not my boy, but he certainly did do as well as the Mannings as rookies and did lead the Jets to 8-8. Saying that the Jets should worry about him and forget Talib, is an absurd idea. My point is in tact. It simply means that Geno is not the issue and that he played no worse than the “all time great” at that point in his career.

    Disputing that is like saying Denver still has a shot. Talib is an upgrade on about 28 teams in the NFL. Taking shots at Geno doesn’t change that. It only exposes your dearth of football acumen.

  29. As a Pats fan, this is tough. He’s great when he plays, but it’s been two years in row where he’s suffered an “injury” in the AFC title game.

    As much as this bothers me, what are the alternatives? Letting Ty Law go was mistake and the secondary was awful when Samuel left.

    He’s one of the most physical corners in the league. You have to pay him if you want a chance to beat the Broncos in the AFC.

  30. It’s poor reporting to suggest that the reason the Patriots couldn’t keep pace with the Broncos is because of the loss of Talib

    It also had a lot to do with the loss of Wilfork, Mayo, Kelly etc. etc. etc.

    Pressure up front can make a CB’s work – even average CBs – a lot easier. I think Belichick wants Talib back but he wants healthy guys who can pressure a QB much more.

  31. Kraft’s definition of “a business decision” is
    Never pay a guy what he’s worth. They’re no longer good enough to sell that crap.
    Talib gets 4 years, 30 million anywhere else.

  32. If Talib is looking for big money, he won’t find it in New England.
    This is the same team that lowballed their franchise QB.
    They set down “take it or leave” offers.
    It’s the Patriot Way.

  33. Talib and Blount shouldn’t forget the dump heap where the pats salvage them. Sure a stint with the pats is a cred to better pay and position but look at the coaches who did not thrive away from the pats. Still I hope that Kraft loosens up the purse string this time. Talib is legit and Edelman already has rapport with Brady. I can’t forget the snarky retort of Kraft when asked about letting Wes walk and about Brady’s feeling about it. ” I don’t answer to Brady”. Brady needs good teammates that he does not have to baby sit in order to reach the team’ s quest. If Brady is done, the pats is gone also. I cringe at the pay of other qb’s. Brady took lesser pay than his market value for the team yet look what he ended up with. If next season the same scenario happens again, then I hope, Mr. Kraft your cute girlfriend takes your money and Gronk gets your girlfriend. There.

  34. “You may not be aware that the Patriots probably can’t re-sign Edelman because they’re almost up against the cap.”

    So was Denver last year and they still signed Welker and DRC, among others. The cap can easily be worked around and once the Patriots trim some fat and get Wilfork to restructure (a 32 year old nose tackle coming off a torn Achilles won’t be getting 7.5 million from the Patriots or anybody else) they’ll have enough wiggle room to make the moves they need.

    Bring back Talib or sign Grimes instead. If somebody is going to pay Edelman 7 or 8 million let him walk. Bring in some depth on the defensive front and maybe sign a guy like Nicks to a cheap deal and see what he has left.

  35. bgm9876 says:

    I hate aqib so please don’t come to buffalo. It will be like having a Tom Brady.
    ___________________

    Lol I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Not many players actually want to go to Buffalo.

    And laughing that you think you wouldn’t be jumping up and down and drooling if Brady went to play for Buffalo after the long string of loser QBs that team has had over the last 10 years.

    Brady is something like 23-2 vs Buffalo. Think about that.

  36. I always get a kick out of amateurs trying to assess the NFL through stats. One of my favorites is when guys look at playoff teams that give up a lot passing yards. They don’t seem to realize that high scoring offenses tend to make their opponents abandon their game-plans to play catch-up and take risks, which leads to yardage but not always points (e.g., risky play leads to turnovers and failed third down conversions). The Patriots give up yards but they don’t give up points in the same ratio. I know they need to diminish the Patriots success but they play to win the game.

  37. I’m sorry but I checked the Pats web site and I can’t find any evidence that this “Aaron Hernandez” guy you speak of was ever with the team. You might want to recheck your facts.

  38. buffalobills716 says:
    Feb 8, 2014 2:50 PM
    Get away from those cheaters and come to their Bills.. Cause we taking our division back from those cheaters Pats… #zero super bowls since spygate

    ———————————————————————————–

    LOL buffalo bills taking back the division? Brady’s still here. The bills are 23-2 all time vs brady. #zero Super Bowls since creation of the Super Bowl

  39. buffalobills716 says:
    Feb 8, 2014 2:50 PM
    Get away from those cheaters and come to their Bills.. Cause we taking our division back from those cheaters Pats… #zero super bowls since spygate
    —————————————————-
    buffalo bills can’t even take a walk, much less take away the division….any division

  40. Talib was a difference maker on defense when healthy. I don’t think the Pats are as worried about off field issues as they are about durability. If the Pats follow their usual M. O. of not paying, it will be a huge loss for a young, improving defense.

  41. Anybody who thinks Aquib Talib will be anywhere but NE is smoking a pipe full of ganga weed. Belichick knows he is the guy that kept a whole side of the field shut off, when his defense collapsed from injuries last season. Bringing him back for 2 more years with the youngsters in the front 7; and paired with a big impact Rodney Harrison style strong safety; and those guys could be in the SB.

    I think they will resign with huge incentives for good form and escape clauses for detrimental conduct. Both sides are comfortable and like each other. Letting Talib go is basically waving the white flag or tapping out on the Belichick/Brady era.

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