Monday, February 11, 2013
Could Talib land in Oakland?
By Tim Kavanagh
In running through the list of top needs amongst the AFC West teams, Andy Benoit of Football Outsiders identified the Raiders' top need as CB. He explains his thoughts:
"Thanks in large part to surrendering 12 plays of 40 yards or more (third-most in football), this defense finished 30th in pass defense DVOA. Blown coverages and missed tackles were issues all season. The only cornerback who filled his role serviceably was veteran slot defender Joselio Hanson and he's now a free agent -- as is Shawntae Spencer. Fringe backup Phillip Adams showed enough intrigue as an underneath man defender and ball-jumper to be re-signed as a restricted free agent, but with or without him, the Raiders still need to bring in at least three new corners. Restocking the position would allow Michael Huff to return to a more fitting sub-package safety role and allow Dennis Allen to install some 60 percent of his scheme that he's still waiting to roll out."
Signing Talib sure sounds like a fine idea based upon that analysis.
Recently, a Boston columnist reported that the New England Patriots are reticent to dole out a lucrative, multi-year contract to CB Aqib Talib. Despite the Kansas product's strong play (and good behavior) during his brief work with the club in 2012, they're wary of committing too much to a player that has had issues off the field and with teammates in the past.
The Pats could potentially franchise Talib, keeping him on the roster for 2013 and pushing their long-term decision on him back by a year, but if he hits the market he'll likely have quite a few teams after him. One of those teams, in the opinion of ESPN AFC West blogger Bill Williamson, is the Oakland Raiders. Williamson identified Talib as the Raiders' "dream free agent" in a post describing such a player for each team in that division:
Bill WilliamsonDrea free agent pairings
"He is troubled, but he is talented. We saw the impact Talib had in New England. He is a talented player. Cornerback is Oakland's greatest need. Getting Talib in the free agency (Oakland will be hard pressed to afford him) and a pass-rusher with the No. 3 overall pick would go a long way to fix this defense."