At 4:00 PM ET, the free agent market will officially open. That being said, the Patriots are reportedly making a strong push to re-sign one of their own, cornerback Aqib Talib. Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe reports:
According to multiple sources, the Patriots would like to get cornerback Aqib Talib done soon. This makes sense for a few reasons: a) the Patriots don't have any real cornerbacks beyond Alfonzo Dennard; b) the Patriots gave up a fourth-round pick for Talib so if he walks, it would look pretty bad; c) with a flooded market at cornerback, the Patriots are probably playing the, "You should take our deal because once you get out there, your price is only going to do down."
However, there may actually be financial incentive for Talib to wait to sign a deal. Mike Garafolo of USA Today writes that the Washington Redskins, who recently released veteran DeAngelo Hall and ranked 30th in pass defense last year, could make a run at Talib:
The Washington Redskins have expressed an interest in Talib and will be making a push to sign the New England Patriots' cornerback if and when he becomes available on Tuesday, according to a person informed of the negotiations between the sides. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because talks were to remain private.
Why would the Redskins pursue Talib? Because of his connections in Washington:
But Redskins Gm Bruce Allen and Washington secondary coach Raheem Morris know what kind of talent Talib brings to the field. Allen drafted Talib with the 20th overall pick in 2008, Morris was Talib's position coach during Talib's rookie year and served as his head coach the next three seasons.
We’ll wait to see how this one plays out, as there are still nearly seven full hours before free agency begins. If the Patriots have truly made it priority number one to bring Talib back into the fold, they should be able to get something done. Still, when a team enters the fray that throws money around as freely as the Redskins do, it certainly adds some intrigue to the situation.