In the eyes of many, re-signing cornerback Aqib Talib should be the Patriots top priority this offseason. When healthy, Talib is one of the best cover corners in the league, and his impact on the Pats defense is huge.
But it now appears that New England will have to dole out some serious money if they want to retain Talib, as reported by Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Talib wants to be paid as a top-of-the-market corner in free agency, according to a source. Since the Dolphins signed Brent Grimes to a four-year, $32 million contract, including $16 million guaranteed, that baseline for this class of prized free agents has been established.
As Howe mentions, Miami signed Brent Grimes to a decently large deal, which may set the standard for free agent defensive backs over the next couple of weeks. I don’t know if Talib is worth Grimes money, but he certainly has the right to argue for it.
The only knock on Talib over the last two seasons has been his health, which forced him to miss multiple AFC Championship games. In terms of talent, he deserves a contract equivalent to Darrelle Revis‘. But that nagging injured hip of his might scare the Pats away from signing him to a long deal.
If it were me running the team, I would try to come to a reasonable deal that gives him his fair share of money, but also protects the team with incentives related to time spent on the field.