Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Talib gets away, Patriots' focus shifts to former Jets


The New England Patriots are historically cautious during free agency. Sometimes that means watching their own free agents sign with rivals.

That happened late Tuesday when the Denver Broncos signed Aqib Talib to a six-year contract worth a staggering $57 million, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The $26 million guaranteed included in the deal is the highest ever for a cornerback.

The $9.5 million average annual salary vaults the oft-injured Talib into the top tier of earners at his position, the type of risky commitment the notoriously frugal Patriots rarely take on. The seven year has yet to play a full 16 game season.

His latest injury came against the Broncos in the AFC Championship when he collided with receiver Wes Welker, a fellow former Patriot that bolted to Denver a year ago, hurting his knee and sitting out for the rest of the game, which New England lost.

The Patriots' secondary collectively had one of its better seasons in recent memory with Talib's solid contributions. New England's front office will need to retool critical components of its defense, though many in the media are suggesting that the team may have its eyes on a bigger prize.

Schefter stated that he expects the Patriots to "make a real push for Darrelle Revis," who is expected to shake loose from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unless they find a trade suitor willing to take on Revis' $16 million annual salary.

Since that is unlikely, Revis will reportedly enter the free agent pool via release at any time within the next couple days.

Acquiring the league's best cornerback would be a coup for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but for now, they wait in limbo. And meanwhile, another former Jet in Antonio Cromartie still sits unemployed.

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