Five Questions Surrounding the Talib Trade

Tom Pennington

The Patriots acquired cornerback Aqib Talib this afternoon, but the move comes with its fair share of questions.

The Patriots acquired cornerback Aqib Talib this afternoon, but the move comes with its fair share of questions. Lets do a quick run-down:

1. Where does Devin McCourty play? Talib has the versatility to play either LCB or RCB. McCourty has traditionally been a LCB for the Patriots, but has played pretty well at the free safety position with the injuries mounting on the back end. So the question becomes, once Talib is in the line-up, does McCourty stay at safety? Or does he move back to the cornerback position? Personally, I think it all has to do with the health of Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory. Once those two are back, I think McCourty moves back to corner, starting alongside Talib, with rookie Alfonzo Dennard being the nickel back.

2. Will Talib stay in line? Talib is a big, physical cornerback with undeniable talent. The issue surrounding him, even before he came into the league, is his character. There are definite red flags in this area, and it's part of the risk in acquiring him, but does he stay in line?

3. Is he only a half-season rental? Talib's contract is set to expire after the 2012 season, so it's a fair question to ask: do the Patriots see Talib as a half-season rental and temporary band-aid, or do they see Talib as someone who could be in their long-term plans. The answer to that question probably has yet to be determined - and will largely factor on how Talib behaves and performs down the stretch.

4. Did the Patriots give up too much? Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe thinks so. Again, the answer to this question won't be answered until we see how well Talib performs, but if you thought the Patriots gave up too much for Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco last season, you'll probably think the same thing with the Talib deal.

5. Will he solve the secondary's struggles? This is the ultimate question. Is Talib enough? In my opinion, the deal is one the Patriots had to make. I don't think the Patriots could bear to watch another potential Super Bowl run get derailed by a poor secondary. The team went out and got the best player they could to address their biggest need in Talib. Now we just have to wait and see if that player actually cures the Patriots' woes.

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