New England Patriots

No hard feelings with Aqib Talib and the Patriots. If the team’s interested, the veteran cornerback would be open to returning.

A source tells Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald that Talib “would be receptive to the idea” of rejoining the Patriots. This comes after a report by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Broncos could look to trade him this offseason.

What that really means is Talib is probably going to get cut. It’s highly unlikely that any team would trade for a 32-year-old corner who’s due $19 million in salary over the next two seasons.

Aqib Talib (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Aqib Talib (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Talib ostensibly confirmed that he’s on his way out of Denver when he tweeted on Wednesday, along with the famous eyeball emoji: “Who coming to get me???”

The Patriots acquired Talib and a seventh-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-round draft pick at the 2012 trade deadline. Talib reached his big-time potential for much of his Patriots tenure, often playing like the physical shutdown corner the defense desperately needed at the time. Unfortunately, injuries dogged Talib at the end of both 2012 and 2013, which ultimately hurt the Patriots in their two AFC Championship Game appearances in those seasons.

Bill Belichick could be in the market for a veteran corner to replace Malcolm Butler, who is almost certainly on his way to another team as a free agent. Talib is still on top of his game at age 32 and was reasonably healthy in his four seasons with the Broncos, so perhaps he will be able to stay on the field for the Pats if he returned. He’d be a strong No. 2 (or 1A) cornerback opposite Stephon Gilmore, and he may not cost more than just a one-year deal on reasonable money.

We’ll keep you posted with any and all developments in the NFL’s free agency period as it pertains to the Patriots. Free agency kicks off on March 14.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.


Sources:

— Salary information via Spotrac