BOSTON (CBS) – Andy Hart from Patriots.com joined the Adam Jones Show to talk some football and NFL free agency. He believes Aqib Talib is New England’s number one priority, and that he merits a long-term deal.
Hart was quick to burst the bubble of anyone thinking that a short-term deal for the Pro-Bowl corner would be realistic. When asked about the potential to put the franchise tag on him, Hart answered, “I think it’s limited, at almost 12 million dollars for a team that doesn’t have much cap space. The ideal situation would probably be a four-year deal on paper, in the range of thirty-something million dollars. In the first year you can keep the cap hit down to 4 or 5 million, which is a more palatable number.”
When Jones asked about his off-the-field issues Hart acknowledged that there’s always a risk, but since coming to New England, “It’s almost like he’s a different guy,” citing Talib’s quote about never playing in the NFL until he became a Patriot.
He was quick to dismiss the notion that this would mean he’d take another cheap, one-year deal like last offseason’s though. Hart used Darelle Revis as a measuring stick, and said, “Revis is a 16 million dollar a year corner. Aqib Talib is certainly worth half of that at 8 million.”
The two moved on to Julian Edelman, who Hart believes there is a smaller market for. Detroit, Denver and Houston were listed as suitors, but Hart was unsure whether or not Houston would pursue the slot reciever with Bill O’Brien at the helm. He talked of the unwritten rules of NFL coaching trees, and wondered whether a Belichick-ian disciple like O’Brien would go after a New England free agent.
Ultimately, Hart believes Edelman will land a deal in the 4 million dollar per year range somewhere, a significant raise from his current salary. The two went on to discuss more NFL free agency, the Bill Belichick coaching-tree, and the comical disaster that is the Cleveland Browns.
You can listen to the entire interview below: