As the cornerback market continues to rebound dramatically from a down 2013 offseason, momentum continues to build that cornerback Aqib Talib might not be returning to New England. Multiple reports have indicated that the Washington Redskins have contacted Talib and could be in play for his services. In fact, ESPN’s John Clayton went as far as to predict that Talib ends up as a Redskin:
Early prediction is that Aqib Talib ends up in Washington.— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 10, 2014
If Talib were to depart, it would make the addition of a number one cornerback an immediate necessity for the Patriots. Perhaps Alterraun Verner, pending free agent of the Tennessee Titans, could be an option.
During an appearance on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio, Verner revealed that Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty has been on the recruiting trail:
Verner: "(New England) is definitely a possibility.. Jason's brother (Devin) has been lobbying for me (to join Patriots)"— Mad Dog Sports Radio (@MadDogRadio) March 10, 2014
Verner, 25, is a 5’10” product of UCLA who recorded five interceptions in 2013 and graded out as ProFootballFocus.com’s 12th best cornerback. He is likely to demand similar money to Talib on the open market, and perhaps more. He hasn’t missed a game in his four year NFL career.
Update: Richard Hill has provided more from Verner's Mad Dog Radio interview. Apparently, his price tag might not even be as high as Talib's:
I feel more compelled to go to a team that I think can win. I haven't had that experience for the past four years in Tennessee. Money is [a priority], but it isn't. I look at it differently. Some look at it tangibly; I look at it as more of a respect value. I would feel more obliged to go to a team that paid me $6 or $7 million and made me one of the highest-paid players on the team, than go to a team that paid me $8 or $9 million and I wasn't one of the highest-paid players on the team.