The Miami Dolphins have announced their signing of free agent cornerback Brent Grimes. Grimes was considered a top 5 cornerback free agent, just like the Patriots pending free agent Aqib Talib, so this means more for the Patriots than the DeAngelo Hall/Washington deal.
The Patriots need to react and sign Talib before anything else happens this off-season. With players like Vontae Davis likely staying with their old team, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Alterraun Verner pushing the cap limits available to the position, the Patriots could be left in the cold.
Talib is a top cornerback and should he sign elsewhere, the Patriots secondary will become just as questionable as years past. With the departure of Steve Gregory, you have to wonder if the Patriots want to apply that newly vacated cap space to a Talib deal.
The Patriots have some time to strike a deal, and you can be sure that Talib's camp isn't feeling the pressure to rush into any contract. As more details surface on the Grimes contract, you can be certain that Talib and the Patriots will both be listening.
Edit: Ian Rapoport is reporting that Grimes and the Dolphins had been discussing a 3 year/$21 million contract prior to this release. The report from Josina Anderson of ESPN states that it's ultimately a four year deal. We can draw the $7 million/season benchmark and assume that the 4th season was added to the soon-to-be 31 year old Grimes' deal to spread out the cap hit.
I wouldn't be surprised by a 4/$26 type of deal, with a front-loaded and greater guarantee on the first two seasons. The Patriots and Talib will likely be negotiating a 5/$30 type of contract
Edit 2: Holy cow, I was wrong. Per Adam Schefter, the deal is 4 years/$32 million. $16 million guaranteed. That's $8 million a season. The bar has been set and it's extremely high, although it's made out to basically be a two year deal with a four year cap spread. Grimes is three years Talib's elder and you can be certain that Talib's incentives-laden deal will match, if not surpass, that $8mm mark.