After half a season with the New England Patriots, Aqib Talib is a free agent. It seems both sides would like for Talib to remain a Patriots player, but with a few other big names and decisions to make, there’s a chance that the team’s best cornerback will be playing somewhere else in 2013.
Talib is one of those ‘personality projects’ Bill Belichick likes to take on; a talented player who had some issues with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including being suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances, testing positive for Adderall, missing four games due to that. For the Pats, he played six times, which included an interception returned 59 yards for a touchdown off of Andrew Luck.
Now, Talib is going to have some value in the free agency market. The Pats have considered franchise tagging him, but that’s also been the thought process regarding Wes Welker. Still, franchising Talib will cost $10.5 million, which will limit the options the Patriots have in the free agency market, while trying to hang on to both Welker and Sebastian Vollmer if possible. Not to mention their problems at secondary, ranking fourth from bottom last season in the NFL in pass defense.
Their other corner, Kyle Arrington, is also hitting free agency, and it seems the cycle that began by not answering the demands of Asante Samuel a few years ago continues, as the Patriots can’t afford to lure a top cornerback via free agency, instead looking for value deals and picks through the draft. Letting go of Talib by not matching any offer he gets or by not setting the tone and bar early in free agency might cost them once again when it comes to simply keeping, let alone improving, their secondary situation.