The free-agency frenzy can be dizzying for the media and fans. Agents and teams have to keep their wits about them while in the blender, playing a game that is part checkers, part chess, part chicken.
For the players, there’s also a strong element of musical chairs. In this year’s cornerback class, Aqib Talib and Darrelle Revis won. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie lost.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it appears that Talib would be the odd man out, relegated to doing a so-so multi-year deal with a new team or another one-year contract in New England. As a league source explains it to PFT, when the Broncos were getting nowhere with DRC, Talib’s camp reached out to inquire about doing a deal.
Within two hours, a deal was done.
For Talib, he crafted the ultimate sweet spot. A day before, a deal that pays him $12 million this year was regarded as an impossibility. A day later, the Patriots would have been able to at least squeeze Talib by threatening to sign Darrelle Revis.
Talib jumped at the right time, getting a contract that few believed he’d ever get. The Patriots never could have done it, given his off-field history and their misadventures with the unfortunately incarcerated Aaron Hernandez. Other teams weren’t inclined to do it, because Talib’s reputation preceded him into most NFL cities.
The Broncos had a compelling need. And they weren’t able to get Rodgers-Cromartie signed for an amount they deemed acceptable.
The swift move for Talib forced the Patriots to perhaps pay Revis more than the Pats wanted to pay. Either way, both Talib and Revis are getting $12 million in 2013 — twice the $6 million-per-year market that existed in 2013.
Meanwhile, DRC is SOL. He’ll eventually get signed, but not for the money he could have gotten two days ago in Denver.