Can the addition of Talib boost the New England secondary?
As the NFL trade deadline came and went, few deals were made. Some people chalk the lack of deals up to the early date of the deadline, while others speculate that teams were not willing to pay the price that some teams wanted for their top stars.
Big names suspected to be on the market like Tim Tebow, Dwayne Bowe and Steven Jackson stayed in their respective cities. There was, however, a little bit of action on the day as the Patriots and Lions made moves in attempt to bolster their rosters.
The biggest move of the day was made by the New England Patriots when they acquired cornerback Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots have been trying to find someone who could come into their lineup and provide stellar play in the defensive backfield, and Talib is that guy.
While Talib will not be able to play for the Patriots right away as he finishes a four-game suspension for violating the league's performance enhancing substance policy, he will provide an impact as soon as he is in the lineup. The Patriots defensive secondary has been exposed multiple times so far this season as one of the team's few weaknesses.
Coming into a starting role right away, Talib will be an important piece of the Patriots secondary—corner Devin McCourty has struggled and been shifted between corner and safety. New England's secondary has also been hit often by the injury bug this season. Injuries have hampered an already weak secondary, making them porous at times.
Talib, who was a first-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2008, recorded 18 interceptions in his time in Tampa. At 6'1" Talib provides the Patriots with more size in a defensive back than they had up until this point. His size will become a key factor for the Patriots because, combined with his athletic ability, it allows him to match up better against the new era of wide receivers who come in at 6'3" and above.
The one downside to Talib is his off-field problems.
Serving the second suspension in his career, Talib has had some problems staying out of trouble. However, with only one year left on his contract, Talib is a low-risk player for the Patriots. His potential is what makes this deal such a strong one for the Patriots, though.
A shutdown corner who plays aggressive football could be just what the doctor ordered to boost the New England secondary. The Patriots low-risk, high-reward deal to get Aqib Talib could be the deal that they need to help them become a legitimate contender in the NFL this season.
The Patriots were only forced to give up a fourth-round draft pick in this year's draft, and for them that makes the deal a steal. A solid corner with experience who can be relied upon to make a difference week in and week out, Talib will make a great addition to the New England Patriots lineup.