The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos reportedly had trade conversations regarding defensive back Aqib Talib, but the Kansas product apparently prefers the chance to play for the New England Patriots.
Dianna Russini of ESPN reported the news, noting a trade between the 49ers and Broncos "doesn't look like it's going to get done."
According to Russini, Talib would rather be released by the Broncos than traded, which would give him the opportunity to choose his destination and possibly suit up for "his top choice" in the Patriots.
"Aqib Talib's roster spot is certainly one that is in jeopardy. I would not be surprised if the Broncos had some talks about potentially trading him this week. ... He's got a big contract, but he's still a very, very good player and teams know that. They have seen the film; they've watched him for years. His play really has not dropped off despite the fact that he's gotten older. It'll be curious to see what kind of market the Broncos can get. And it'll be interesting to hear what they do on defense because they have Bradley Roby, who might be the best pure athlete on the team. They can just slide him in at corner and maybe even get a little younger, get a little better."
Talib responded to the report, wondering which team was going to make a move to add him to the secondary:
If Denver moves on from Talib, it would be less about his on-field production and more of a financial decision. Patra noted the Broncos would save $11 million on the salary cap by getting rid of him, which would in turn help them add elsewhere after missing the postseason two years in a row.
Still, he would make a valuable addition to the 49ers or Patriots secondary considering he was named to each of the last five Pro Bowls and was a First Team All-Pro selection as recently as 2016. He has 34 career interceptions, although just one came last season.
Talib has been with the Broncos the last four years after playing his first four seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the next three seasons with the Patriots. A reunion in New England would provide a boost to a secondary that was an abysmal 30th in the league in passing yards allowed per game in 2017.