David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots afraid to give Aqib Talib multiple years?

According to a source close to CSNNE’s Mike Giardi, the New England Patriots have concerns regarding impending free agent cornerback Aqib Talib‘s work ethic which will make them more reluctant to give Talib multiple years. He will almost certainly get more than one year on his deal, because there will be several teams interested after Talib enjoyed a successful stint in 2012 with the Patriots and was able to avoid any off-the-field issues.

The source also told CSNNE that Talib “passed on the chance to do extra work at times this year”, and it also notes that the Patriots are concerned with the way Talib will react to a multi-year pact and would prefer to give the CB just one year.

I guess the Patriots are afraid that Talib will not be as motivated to produce, work hard, or even to stay out of trouble if given the extra year(s) that would make it more difficult for the Pats to get rid of him or deal with him. If that’s the reason, then there is some merit to that since I’ve heard some people say that Talib was only focused on getting himself back-on-track since it was a “final stint” with a Super Bowl contender before free agency.

But I think Aqib Talib’s transformation with the Patriots was genuine, because he seemed unselfish from the outset. Now that isn’t a great justification and won’t hold too much weight with the Pats organization, but there was one thing that struck out to me this season.

Each week, ESPN Boston runs an excellent football journey piece in which they interview a player on the New England Patriots and get to know their life story. There was only one player who rejected Mike Reiss’s offer at an interview on the site, and that player was Aqib Talib. His reason was that he didn’t want to place himself above the team, and that was a truly heart-warming thing that will always stick out to me about Talib.

But business is business, and the Patriots rightfully need to exercise concern. That’s especially true since the source stated that Talib opted not to do extra work. Work ethic is a significant concern for most players going into UFA, and that holds especially true for a CB with a checkered past. I believe Talib has turned a corner, but it’s good to hear that the New England Patriots aren’t going to just toss around an extra few years to Talib out of desperation. They are exercising their due caution, and the news that there is a very legitimate reason in doing so (aside from the fact that it’s just good business in the NFL) is something Pats fans need to watch for closely.

In the piece by CSNNE, the staff gives a range of $8 million to $10 million as the amount of money Talib could garner per year in a multi-year deal. That’s extremely expensive, especially considering the franchise number for a CB is about $10.6 million. I hope they are off on that $10 million listing, because it’s possible Talib is pricing himself out of the Patriots range.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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