A report recently came out saying that free agent cornerback Aqib Talib wants a big contract this offseason. This makes sense, given that he has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL over the last two years, but it may force the Patriots to move on from the talented 28 year old.
Based on recent history (remember Mr. Welker?), Bill Belichick and company will probably let Talib walk. But if they do that, they may be throwing away Tom Brady‘s last chance at a fourth Super Bowl championship.
Seattle showed us last season, that the number one key to winning a Super Bowl is building a secondary that can cover. When Talib was on the field for the Pats, they boasted one of the top pass defenses in the league. But when he was out, they morphed back into the 2010-12 Patriots, a team that couldn’t stop Tim Tebow from throwing the football.
This is an early judgement, but I think next year’s AFC title will probably come down to the Broncos, and the Patriots once again. Sure, the Colts could make a run, or maybe even the Chiefs. But when the dust settles, I am pretty sure Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning will be the only two left standing. And what do you have to do to beat Peyton? Cover his damn receivers. As soon as Talib left last seasons’ AFC Championship game, I think we all had a feeling that the game was over. Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan are excellent young corners, but they stood no chance against the big, physical Denver wideouts. However Talib has the physical frame to deal with bigger guys. He uses his body aggressively, often disrupting the timing of the biggest, most physical receivers in football (Julio Jones, Jimmy Graham).
His history with injuries will always be brought up, and it certainly is a fair point. It doesn’t matter how much talent you have, if you can’t stay on the field, it is worthless. That’s why if New England give Talib an offer, it must be full of incentives based on how much he is actually playing football. The Pats should re-sign him, but not in a dumb way. Giving a guy with a history of getting injured at the worst times is definitely not a good idea.
If spending a little money is what it takes to bring a Super Bowl-caliber defense to Tom Brady’s side, then so be it. The “Patriot Way” doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t spend money. Spending it wisely would be a better way to describe that motto. Throwing $50 million at a receiver is not smart. But splurging a little bit on Talib would be.