I wish we were talking about how New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib would impact on the Super Bowl. Oh, how everyone wishes that. But the seasons over, and we have to talk about the future of our players.
One of those is Talib, who signed a deal until the end of the season after being traded. And he has had a great impact on the woeful secondary. You could tell as soon as Talib left the AFC Championship, we were pretty screwed.
He also contributed a 59 yard pick six on debut against the Indianapolis Colts, and the most telling stat is how he impacted on big plays. We went from one of the worst teams at defending the deep ball (costing us games against the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens - twice), to one of the best. It sounds like we need this guy badly.
He has also got the Patriot Way mastered in interviews. Here's what he's had to say since Sundays loss, according to the Boston Globe
“I had a lot of fun here, I definitely enjoyed my time here,” Talib said, roughly 12 hours after the Patriots lost to the Ravens, 28-13, in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium Sunday night. “We’ll see what happens in the future, but I definitely had the most fun I’ve had playing football in a long time here." ... “I definitely enjoy being a Patriot,” he said. “We’ll let everything . . . it’s the business side of the business.”
The thing of note here is that he's talking in the past tense. He's "had" a lot of fun. Is this anything to get worried about? Probably not. The seasons over, and he enjoyed playing for the Patriots this season, and he's talking to the press like he's a Patriot. He understands the business, he's been around it a long time.
I'm sure he has enjoyed it. He's definitely promoted himself well enough during his spell here to suggest he can still play. Bill Belichick seems to be the master of converting guys with "character issues" into simply football players, and I'm sure Talib's happy he's just been able to concentrate on football, and show other teams that they don't have to be concerned about his character.
However, one issue over Talib staying is his health. Unlike Wes Welker, an ever present no matter what, Talib picked up 2 injuries in under half a season. Belichick won't be splashing the cash on a guy who's a constant injury worry, which might prevent Talib getting the money he feels he deserves.
So as much as Pats fans want Talib to stay, and as much as Talib wants to stay, he understands its a business. If he doesn't get an offer he likes (which is very likely here), and he can get an offer elsewhere (which I'm sure he can), he'll be on his way. With guys like Welker and Sebastian Vollmer needing contracts, it'll be a squeeze. Let's hope we can hang on to them all.
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