Aqib Talib Rumors: Patriots Would Be Smart To Re-Sign Free-Agent CB

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 18:  Aqib Talib #31 of the New England Patriots returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts during the game on November 18, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The New England Patriots would be wise to re-sign cornerback Aqib Talib before he hits the market as an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The Boston Globe's Greg A. Bedard reports that the Patriots want to make it happen, "According to multiple sources, the Patriots would like to get cornerback Aqib Talib done soon."

Really, this is a no-brainer. 

Talib was the team's best cornerback last year when he was healthy, and the fourth-round pick New England paid to land him in the middle of the year would be completely wasted if the Patriots allowed him to sign on with another team in free agency.

Even if the Patriots sign Talib, the team still needs to add talent and depth to its secondary, which means if he isn't re-signed, the Patriots will be in dire straights, indeed.

As of Tuesday morning, New England has three cornerbacks on its roster: Ras-I Dowling, Malcolm Williams and Alfonso Dennard. 

Of these three, only Dennard can be considered as a starter.

This isn't particularly inspiring news, since Dennard was recently convicted of "third-degree assault of an officer and resisting arrest," stemming from an off-field incident that occurred last April (h/t World-Herald Bureau's Leslie Reed).

Dennard could face up to 180 days in jail, but he's not expected to be suspended by the NFL, due to the fact that the incident occurred before he was a pro player (h/t the Boston Globe's Bedard).

Still, we're talking about a young man who could spend his summer behind bars instead of with his team on the practice field. 

It's pretty clear that the Patriots are in desperate need of cornerback help.

Talib has proven over the course of his five-year career that he's capable of producing at a high level, tallying 19 interceptions and 56 defended passes. He's a big cornerback, at 6'1" and 205 pounds, and has enough speed and athleticism to defend the league's top receivers.

Signing him won't be cheap, but it won't break the Patriots, either, especially after Tom Brady's new contract cleared up roughly $15 million in cap space in the next two seasons (h/t ESPNBoston.com). 

The Patriots would be foolish to let Talib hit test the free-agent market this season, and the team must make sure he signs a long-term deal before he can sign on with another team.

 

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