BOSTON (CBS) – After being traded to New England from Tampa Bay, Aqib Talib has given the Patriots their first cover cornerback since Asante Samuel, and perhaps their best secondary player since Rodney Harrison and Ty Law*.
*Of course, the asterisk being “when healthy.”
When healthy, Aqib Talib is capable of shutting down the opposing team’s best receiver. When unhealthy, as we saw against Baltimore and Denver in consecutive AFC Championship Games, the wheels of the defense fall right off the wagon.
Talib played 2013 under a 1-year $5 million deal, and another short term deal for the Pro Bowl corner is simply unrealistic.
The period to franchise players began on Monday and the tag for cornerbacks is over $11 million, which comes with its 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).
Marc Bertrand, Adam Jones and former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins debated this topic to kick off Tuesday’s show.
Adam Jones is okay with giving Aqib Talib the franchise tag because a long term deal scares the heck out of him.
Jones cited Talib’s chronic hip injury and his off-the-field red flags while in Tampa, so for those reasons he finds it prudent to keep the player – who’s downright dominant when healthy – on your terms for one year under the tag.
“I would overpay him for one season, and until he makes it through a year healthy and another year without being a problem off the field I just wouldn’t be interested in giving a three or four year deal,” said Jones.
Jermaine Wiggins would also like to see the franchise tag placed on Talib, but for different reasons, which are the lack of a backup plan and the idea of losing him to another team.
“What’s their backup option? Where do they go if they don’t get Talib? Now you gotta bring in another guy? Who’s to say that other guy is going to fit the system or give you Talib’s production?
“I think it’s a no-brainer that you have to franchise this guy, because if you don’t franchise him you’re going to lose him in the open market, because there will be a team that will pay him,” Wiggy concluded.
Marc Bertrand has a different view. After finally finding that game-changing secondary player he just wants the Patriots to lock him up so they’re not going through this same song and dance a year from now.
Listen below for the full discussion: