Feb 6, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
Kraft wary of bringing back Talib
The Patriots were able to get cornerback Aqib Talib back last year on a one-year, $5 million. Among the bidders they had to compete with was the Redskins.
The good news was that their investment paid off. Talib made the Pro Bowl and he was New England’s best defensive back. The bad news is that it will cost the Patriots—or whatever team signs him—more money to get Talib’s services this year.
ESPN Boston projected that Talib, who is about to turn 28, will end up with a three-or four-year deal worth $6-$8 million per year and guarantees of $12-$14 million. That’s quite a range, from three years, $18 million to four years, $32 million but it was very much a buyer’s market at cornerback last year with salaries collapsing and there is uncertainty as to how much it will rebound.
Defining Talib’s value also is tricky because he’s damaged goods. He’s had some off-field issues and, most recently, injury issues. Talib missed time during the season with a hip problem and that is a big red flag for everyone who might want to sign him, including the Patriots.
“Well we want to retain all the good players we can retain,” team owner Robert Kraft said last week on 98.5 The Sports Hub (via Tom Curran of CSNNE.com). “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.”
The ESPN Boston report projects that Talib will stay with the Patriots if his deal falls within the parameters outlined in their post. And it seems that Talib would like to stay, given that he said recently that his NFL career really didn’t start until the came to New England after spending the first four and a half years of his career with the Bucs.
But if Kraft is uncomfortable with giving Talib the market rate it’s likely that the Redskins will jump in. Raheem Morris was Talib’s position coach when he broke into the league as a rookie and his head coach for the next three years. Bruce Allen was the Bucs’ GM when they drafted Talib in 2008.
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