Sunday, February 9, 2014

Kraft on retaining Talib: It's just about business


Last offseason, the New England Patriots were unable make a suitable agreement on a long-term contract with cornerback Aqib Talib.

This offseason, finding common ground may be even harder.

Coming off a one-year contract and a very good season (despite some hip injury issues), Talib is set for free agency, where he'll be a major person of interest. While the Patriots certainly hope to retain their top coverage guy of the past two years, they continue to be frugal.

"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," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, via CSNNE. "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 27-year-old Talib snagged four interceptions and forced a fumble last year -- all in the first four games.

Talib is a true heads-up corner who can take on the opposing team's No. 1 receiver play in, play out and make opposing offenses work around it. In the modern NFL, that kind of player is a difference-maker on defense.

How much New England values that type of guy, however, remains to be seen. The Patriots have a handful other big decisions to make in each of the three layers of the defense, as well as in the pass-catching department on offense.

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