Talib was forced to leave Sunday’s AFC Championship game after he took a controversial hit from Broncos WR Wes Welker. This was during the second quarter, but Talib had gotten off to a strong start with regards to covering Demaryius Thomas. Before the hit, Thomas has just one catch for 29 yards, but after he left the game, Thomas caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Talib, 27, came over from the Buccaneers in return for a fourth-round pick. Since then, Talib has been the Patriots best cover corner and started the season off great before injuries appeared to take a toll. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl this year and was even named a second team All-Pro cornerback.
Talib should have no trouble finding interest during free agency and could come close to securing as much as $20 million guaranteed in his next contract, which would leave him close to the top-five highest paid corners in the league. The Patriots have some cap space to work with, but they could probably use some more if they plan on locking up Talib long-term. It seems likely that the Patriots will approach some of their high-priced players about restructuring their contracts.
We have Talib listed as the No. 22 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.