Felger & Mazz: Should The Patriots Extend Themselves For Aqib Talib?

BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots owner Robert Kraft touched on a wide variety of topics when he appeared on the Felger & Massarotti program during Super Bowl week on Radio Row, and one of his more interesting nuggets was the team’s stance on cornerback Aqib Talib.

Kraft said many times during the interview that his team exercising financial discipline year-to-year is a reason for their sustained success, and that obviously includes their valuation of players.

Kraft’s comments on these airways clearly show he’s not sold on Talib’s health, and rewarding him with a big contract doesn’t sound likely.

“Well, we want to retain all the good players we can retain,” Kraft said about Talib. “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. It’s a balance of us balancing all that out and what is he worth.”

The period to franchise players begins on Monday and the tag for cornerbacks is north of $11 million.

Is that the route the Patriots should go?

Scott Zolak says yes, and the NFL Network’s Albert Breer said this afternoon on the Gresh & Zolak program that the smartest thing would be to franchise him as a way to prevent his departure.

The franchise tag has it’s pros and cons: while you’d be paying top dollar for his services it would only be for one season, which satisfies his wants (money) and yours (no long term commitment).

Former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins appeared on the Felger & Massarotti show Tuesday afternoon, as he does every week, to respond to the report that a more “robust” market will have teams fighting for Talib.

“He’s going to be one of those guys where a team says ‘Yeah he’ll miss a couple games a year but he’s a very good corner’ and they’ll just hope he stays healthy and they’ll pay him,” said Wiggy.

Talib came to New England after multiple police run-ins during his time with the Buccaneers, but since acquiescing with the Patriots he’s been nothing but a model citizen. That, and his high level of play when healthy should increase his value according to Marc Bertrand.

“He’s been in New England for a year and a half, he’s proved how important he was to this defense this past year and if he played in every single game last year his dollar amount would be higher heading into this free agency,” said Beetle. “His market will be better than last year, but it still won’t be the top dollar that he could’ve had if he played in every single game.”

Listen below for the full discussion, including Denver’s decision on Wes Welker and Julian Edelman’s future:


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