Despite an excellent season, the New England Patriots didn’t franchise tag Aqib Talib and also haven’t made too much of an effort to give him a long term contract. History tells us they won’t, so free agency is where he’s headed, with the Washington Redskins looking more than willing to sign him on a lucrative deal.
The Patriots trust their ability to fill in for anyone, and have let talented and expensive cornerbacks go in the past. Talib was a second-team all-pro last season, and maybe the most important piece in a defense that looked a lot better against the pass with him than without him. However, it’s not enough to convince Belichick and the managment to keep him on board, or at least prevent him from seeing what kind of offers he can get.
The Washington Redskins usually pay handsomely, even overpay some players. It has burnt them in the past, but Talib isn’t going to demand an outrageous contract more than likely. He’s 28, without a serious injury in his past (although a lot of small ones that might be concerning), and likely to be very productive anywhere he lands. He’ll also be an upgrade to anything the Redskins currently have in the secondary.
Talib, who made the Pro Bowl last season and enjoyed what has no doubt been his best season, also had four interception to make it 23 throughout his career, 14th among active players. He has a lot of people he’s familiar with in Washington – General manager Bruce Allen and secondary coach Raheem Morris were there in Tampa Bay in similar roles when he was drafted in 2008 as a 20th overall pick, so it might serve as further encouragment to sign with the Redskins.
When it comes to needing a cornerback, the Redskins are in dire need. They have only two decent ones signed going into next season (DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson). No Redskins cornerback is in the top 80 of the PFF rankings, and Washington allowed a second-worst in the league 8.04 yards per pass attempt last season.