Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that “early indications” are that Patriots CB Aqib Talib will have a “more robust” market than he had last year when he ultimately signed a one-year, $4.86 million contract.
- Florio adds that the Patriots will need to ” step up, if they want to keep him.“
Patriots owner Bob Kraft seemed to suggest earlier in the week that they may approach the Talib negotiations with caution, even though they value him highly.
“Well we want to retain all the good players we can retain,” Kraft said, via CSNNE.com (h/t to Around the League). “It’s not like we have unlimited funding so . . . He wasn’t on the field a lot of the time since he’s been with us. It’s a balance of us balancing all that out and what is he worth. I think he’s happy here and would like to be here and we’re happy with him and we’d like to have him here and now it’s just about doing business.”
Talib, 27, has been the Patriots best cover corner and started the season off great before injuries took a toll later in the season. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl this year and was even named a second team All-Pro cornerback.
This year’s free agent market does include a number of quality cornerbacks including guys like Alterraun Verner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brent Grimes, Vontae Davis, and Sam Shields. With this in mind, and the fact that Talib has had some off-the-field issues in the past, there is a chance that interest could level off at a certain point depending his asking price.
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 and addressing other areas of need. 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. 18 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.