The NFL off-season, much like the NBA offseason, is always pretty interesting. I just find it fascinating to see players move on from a team or get shipped out of town, in any sport. The business side of things will always catch my attention, sometimes even more than actually watching the sport itself. And today, we had another interesting story dropped on our heads.
— NFL (@NFL) February 28, 2018
👀 who coming to get me??? https://t.co/Tm2I3AGW9O
— AqibTalib21 (@AqibTalib21) February 28, 2018
Since ditching the Patriots for Denver in 2014, Aqib Talib has been one of the best corners in the league. His time in New England is the reason why he got so much money from the Broncos in the first place. He made a name for himself here. But now the Broncos are ready to move on, or so it seems.
John Elway on C.J. Anderson and Aqib Talib, “not saying they’ll be back … not saying they’re gone.”
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) February 28, 2018
I’ve seen a lot of people speculate on Twitter about the possibility of Talib returning to New England. Stuff like this always happens when a former player for your team becomes available. And given the Malcolm Butler situation, the Patriots will probably be in the market for a corner. But I have a few questions regarding Talib specifically; Would Belichick welcome him back with open arms (given the right price of course)? Would Patriots fans accept him after the way he went out? And lastly, would he even want to come back?
The answer to the first question is hard for me to answer. Belichick will always take on a talented player for the right price, but I’m not sure about Talib. He’s taken a few shots at the organization since he left for Denver, which I wouldn’t think Bill appreciates. Who knows if he’d actually hold a 4-year grudge, but at the same time, something like that wouldn’t surprise me.
As for the second question, you would be stupid to not welcome him back. Put the petty differences aside and prioritize winning, because, at the end of the day, that’s what guys come here to do. And Talib was fantastic during his time in New England, so I feel like he could flourish here again.
The last question is obviously the most important, but there are a few factors that go into it. If Talib winds up being traded rather than released, he wouldn’t have much of a say as to where he winds up. His $12M cap hit this year is kind of steep, but that drops off to $8M for the following season, so it’s worth the hit this year. But if he’s released, things could get tricky. If teams have the money, a decent amount of them will offer him the kind of contract that Belichick just won’t. And I think it’d be in Talib’s best interest to go with whoever is offering the most money because at 32 years old, it could be the last big contract he sees. I just have a hard time seeing Bill Belichick go all in on Talib now in free agency when he wouldn’t even do it 4 years ago.
-Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)