You all spoke. Out of over 1,350 vote, 67% of you wanted to keep cornerback Aqib Talib over wide receiver Julian Edelman. Now that's not an indictment on the value and success of Edelman, but it's more a testament to how highly valued Talib is when looking at a potential Patriots defensive transformation.
You can be sure that Talib's agent will make a point of how valuable his player is to the Patriots and how they're indisputably a better team with him on the field.
But not-so-fast! Patriots owner Bob Kraft took to the radio waves with Felger and Mazz to discuss the potential of resigning Talib. Emphasis mine.
"Well we want to retain all the good players we can retain; It’s not like we have unlimited funding. So he wasn’t on the field a lot of the time since he’s been with us. It’s a balance of us balancing all that out and what is he worth. I think he’s happy here and would like to be here and we’re happy with him and we’d like to have him here and now it’s just about doing business."
It's not a secret that the Patriots want Talib back, but comments like the above from Kraft show that they're loading up for a negotiation battle. Don't take it as the Patriots not being willing to pay for top talent (that's just not true), but instead that they want to ensure they get the actual value that Talib puts on the field. Look for the Patriots to offer Talib a Sebastian Vollmer-esque contract, where he's paid extremely well as a base salary, with escalators to bring him into the top five or ten at his position if he can remain healthy.
But Talib and his agent just have to know that there are plenty of corners available in free agency. The Patriots have made their first move by calling out Talib's inconsistent availability. Keep an eye on how Aqib's camp responds.