Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Talib back to New England?
By Tim Kavanagh
One of the big storylines for this offseason regarding the New England Patriots is the small army of significant players that are poised to hit free agency unless the club ponies up a new contract (or uses its franchise tag, though there can be only one franchise taggee). Amongst those key players is CB Aqib Talib, who the club acquired in exchange for its fourth-round selection in the 2013 draft, and who instantly improved the secondary upon arrival. In fact, it was his exit from the AFC championship game that proved to be a turning point in the Ravens' win over New England.
On the field, he's a great player, and during his time in New England, he reportedly kept himself on the straight and narrow. However, the Kansas product has a checkered past, and there are some who believe that this could limit his options in free agency. In fact, a source with knowledge of the situation revealed to CSN New England scribe Mike Giardi that the Patriots themselves have concerns over Talib's work ethic, and are thus wary of doling out a multi-year contract to him.
Some numbers to keep in mind here: the projected franchise tag value for CBs, as per NFL.com, is $10.668 million. And because of all those expiring contracts, the Patriots are actually projected to be around $18.6 million under the salary cap, per ESPN's John Clayton, and that's before making some additional cuts prior to the start of the 2013 league year.
Perhaps the Pats are able to convince Talib to sign a one-year, "prove it" deal, with the promise of a more extensive pact if he has another good season on the field and keeps his nose clean off of it. If not, he should have a number of interested suitors in free agency.