Will the Redskins make a run at Patriots cornerback Aquib Talib?
The 28 year old made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2013 and he is expected to be a hot commodity when the free agent market opens at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. He has connections to the Redskins. Bruce Allen was the GM in Tampa Bay when Talib was drafted and Washington defensive backs coach Raheem Morris had the same position with the Bucs when Talib broke in and was later the head coach there.
According to multiple reports, the Redskins were in contact with Talib’s representatives on Saturday, the first day that teams can legally call the agents of players with expiring contracts and talk about the parameters of a deal.
The Redskins will be looking for a veteran corner in free agency but it remains to be seen if they will be looking for the top names like Talib. They re-signed DeAngelo Hall already and they took David Amerson in the second round of last year’s draft. Those two could potentially be the starters but they may be looking for stronger options at nickel back than the inexperienced Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield offer.
But that doesn’t mean that they necessarily need to go after an option as expensive as Talib. And it will be quite costly to acquire his services. The Packers and Dolphins signaled that the market for cornerbacks will be quite strong this year. Miami re-signed Brent Grimes to a four-year contract worth $32 million while Sam Shields got $39 million over four years from the Green Bay.
Talib is about a year and a half older than Shields and he carries some injury and suspension baggage. But Shields has never played 16 games in a season either and has never been to a Pro Bowl. If Talib ends up taking less than Shields it won’t be much less.
With $22 million in cap space, the Redskins could afford to pay Talib under a contract that would pay in the neighborhood of $10 million per year. The question is, could they do so while still filling their two holes at safety, two holes at inside linebacker and other upgrades needed elsewhere on the team.
We will see how this shakes out and how serious the team’s interest in Talib really is. The opportunity cost of taking on such a big contract could end up being prohibitive or, if they do it anyway, crippling to other areas of the team.