Patriots re-sign CB Aqib Talib to one-year deal
The New England Patriots acquired Aqib Talib in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last October. Aqib Talib quickly emerged as the team’s leading cornerback, returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown in his first start for the New England Patriots. In the New England Patriots’ final six-games of the 2012 regular season, Aqib Talib posted 19 tackles, 2 passes defensed and one interception returned for a touchdown. Abiq Talib contributed 10 more tackles in the 2012 postseason. The New England Patriots realized his true impact on the secondary when Aqib Talib was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a leg injury, and the pass defese immediately showed signs of struggle.
Although Aqib Talib was reportedly being pursued by three other teams as well, there didn’t appear to be a lot of serious interest due to his history of off-field issues (even though he managed to stay out of trouble with the Patriots last season). When Aqib Talib arrived in New England last year, he was in the midst of a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Moreover, with a slow-developing cornerback market, not many teams were expected to offer lucrative long-term deals, even if Aqib Talib was listed among the top free agent cornerbacks. Although the New England Patriots made a multi-year offer, it didn’t match-up to expectations. So, Aqib Talib decided to invest another year in coming back with a strong season while hopefully improving his market value for 2014, when the corner market should not be so crowded. Additionally, it will help Aqib Talib to gain the New England Patriots’ confidence and demand a better contract for 2014.
Aqib Talib will likely start opposite cornerback Alfonzo Dennard next season; while Kyle Arrington, who also recently re-signed with the New England Patriots on a four-year contract this week, is expected to remain in the slot. Kyle Arrington led the NFL in 2011 with seven interceptions. After the New England Patriots lost safety Patrick Chung to the Philadelphia Eagles, they signed Arian Wilson as his likely replacement.
The moves and the re-signing of Aqib Talib will help the New England Patriots to bolster a secondary that was among the team’s priorities this offseason.