The Boston Herald has reported that sources tell them that the Patriots will be meeting with Talib at the NFL combine this week. As a fan, I hope this is true and a long term deal gets done as soon as possible. When healthy, Talib is a great talent and has really made our defense tic. Unfortunately, Talib has been injured the past two post seasons when the Patriots needed him the most. Although the injuries may have hurt the team in the playoffs, it may help when it comes to signing a new deal. As do most people, I think it is essential that any contract that the Patriots offer Talib has playing time considerations included. A few weeks ago I wrote about some ideas for a new contract, they can be read here.
Earlier this week the Washington Redskins signed a four-year extension worth $20 million with CB DeAngelo Hall. It was expected that the Redskins may have been a suitor for Talib if he got to free agency. With this signing it is unlikely that they would be able to chase after Talib. As of now there are several cornerbacks who are set to become free agents including:
Charles Tillman (2013- $8 million cap hit for Bears)
Asante Samuel (former Patriot who was released in last year of contract with Falcons)
Jabari Greer (released by Saints, suffered ACL injury in November)
Brent Grimes ( Pro Bowler for Dolphins- not likely to get tagged)
Corey Webster (had last year of contract with Giants voided-injury prone and 3 years older than Talib)
Josh Wilson (Redskins probably won't resign)
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (contract with Broncos voided, hinted at retirement if they had won the Super Bowl)
Corey Graham (Ravens' head coach Jim Harbaugh has stated that he wants to resign him)
Sam Shields (26 year old who Packers would like to resign to a long term deal, play-maker during playoffs)
Looking at this list, you can see that there are a lot more free agents set to hit the market than was anticipated in the fall. This flooding of the market should bring the price on the open market down. Hopefully, this means that the Patriots and Talib can quickly come to an agreement and then the focus can turn to Julian Edleman.