Saturday, March 16, 2013
Patriots Lock Up Their Top Cornerback-Aqib Talib-For Another Season
Aqib Talib only played eight games for the Patriots last season (6 regular season, 2 playoff) after he was traded from the Buccaneers but in that short time span, he established himself as the team's best cornerback by far. He has the confidence and ability to be successful at one of the NFL's most difficult positions and today, they signed him to a one-year deal worth $5 million.
I'm sure he wanted a longer deal here or somewhere else but given his track record of injuries and off the field incidents, he probably didn't have much of a market. This means next season for him will be a showcase of sorts as he tries to score a big deal.
He had 19 tackles in the regular season, 10 in the playoffs, a fumble recovery, two passes defensed and he returned an interception 57 yards for a TD in his first game as a Patriot against the Colts. When he left the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore with a hamstring injury, that changed the whole complexion of the contest. I'm not saying he would have made enough of a different to beat the Ravens that day but he certainly wouldn't have hurt the Patriots' awful secondary which was torched by Joe Flacco.
Talib is 27 and entering his sixth NFL season. With a full offseason and training camp with New England, it's not hard to see him really excelling and having a Pro Bowl type year since he should be in the prime of his NFL career. With Adrian Wilson signed last night and now Talib, the Pats are addressing their biggest need-secondary-since the NFL is totally a passing league now. Next I'd love to see them sign some more guys (Freeney, Abraham, etc) that can get after the quarterback, the Patriots' second biggest issue on defense.
Also, linebacker Niko Koutovides (probably the most obscure Patriot) was re-signed to a one-year deal. That fills New England's quota (1) of Greeks on their special teams units.
UPDATE 3/16: Brandon Lloyd has been released but he could return if they restructure his deal (aka take away a bunch of money).
UPDATE 3/17: Patriots signed free agent offensive lineman Will Svitek to a one-year deal.
UPDATE 3/20: The Pats re-signed cornerback Marquice Cole.