The New England Patriots have their brought their top cornerback back into the fold. According to multiple reports, the team has agreed to a one year contract with unrestricted free agent Aqib Talib. Albert Breer of the NFL Network has provided some of the details of the contract and the negotiations:
Aqib Talib's one-year deal with the Patriots is worth $5 million.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 16, 2013
My understanding is the Patriots also offered Talib a longer-term deal, and he had interest from 3 other clubs. He chose the one-year deal.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 16, 2013
The Patriots' long-term offer to Talib was for five years, and based on how the market was going. One-year deal made way more sense for him.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 16, 2013
While it may have been nice to get Talib under contract for five years, I still really like this contract for the Patriots. It's a minimal cap hit for 2013, at just $5 million. It takes away much of the risk that a long term contract with Talib would have provided - in terms of his off-the-field issues and his injury history.
If Talib can come in and stay focused, stay healthy, and have a productive year, it will mean a few things. First, he'll likely be able cash in with a bigger contract on the open market in 2014. Second, the Patriots will get an integral piece to their secondary that could possibly propel them over the top. And third, the Patriots could feel more comfortable giving Talib a big-time contract next offseason.
While some may be disappointed the sides weren't able to come to a long term agreement, I'm a fan of this move. And suddenly, with the addition of Adrian Wilson and the re-signings of Talib and Kyle Arrington, the Patriots' secondary for 2013 is starting to take shape.