BOSTON (CBS) – Cornerback Aqib Talib is one of the 31 free agents the Patriots will have to address this off-season.
But, like receiver Wes Welker said Sunday night following New England’s 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship, the future is not something that’s on his mind right now.
“I’m not really worried about all that right now,” Talib said before cleaning out his Gillette Stadium locker on Monday. “The game was 12 hours ago; I’m in the training room with the guys, we’re having fun right now.”
“I’m still a Patriot,” he said. “Free agency doesn’t start ’til March, so until then I’m still a Patriot and just enjoying my time.”
Talib On Future:
Talib turned around the Patriots secondary after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the trade deadline, and his presence was sorely missed after he left Sunday’s loss to the Ravens in the first quarter with a thigh injury.
While he stopped short of saying he would like to return to the Patriots for 2013, he did say his time in New England has been the most enjoyable of his five-year NFL career.
“I enjoy being a Patriot,” he said. “Definitely enjoyed my time here. 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.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belchick was asked about Talib during his Monday morning press conference, but said now is not the time to be making personnel decisions.
“We will not make any decisions on any players into the future now,” said Belichick. “You just can’t do it. There are too many factors, too many unknown things. All the things I said about Aqib, I meant and I still feel that way. Nothing has changed, but I can’t put into place an entire plan for the team at this point in time. There’s just not enough information; it’s too early.”
“I don’t think you can, as much as you want to just go case by case and list each guy and what his deal is. I think that there is some of that, no question, but at the same time, when you’re trying to put together a team, you’ve got to look at the entire team before you just say, ‘OK, well, we want to try to keep this guy. Well, we don’t want to keep this guy’ or ‘We want to try to get somebody else,’ or whatever,” he said. “You’ve got to look at the entire context of the team and not just take it one guy, piece by piece. I don’t think that’s the way you put together an entire football team. You’ve got to see the big picture and how it all fits together and there are a lot of factors that go into that. That’s why it takes some time.”