Aqib Talib has been a positive influence on the Patriots' secondary from the moment he stepped on the field against Indianapolis back in November.
He has been far from perfect, but he is a competent enough player that Bill Belichick has twice felt confident to match him up head-to-head with Texans' receiver Andre Johnson.
Typically, Belichick's corners do not match up players. Instead they stick to their side of the field, but Talib's talent has Belichick feeling like he can mix more things into his defense.
That flexibility is not something Belichick will let walk away easily.
Of course giving Talib a huge deal is not without risk based on his troubled past and multiple suspensions, but Talib wouldn't be the first player to fall in line in New England.
Running back Corey Dillon was far from a saint during his career, but while in New England, he was able to stay out of trouble and on the field.
I look for the Patriots to try and get a deal done for decent money over a relatively short life—something in the ball park of two years, $10 million.
At 26, Talib can afford to take a deal of this nature, try to stay out of trouble and have a good stretch in Foxboro before hitting the open market for a big contract before age gets the best of him.