Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib prefers to be cut instead of being traded, so he can choose his own team. And reportedly, his first choice would be to return to the Patriots.
Dianna Russini of ESPN tweeted on Wednesday that the Broncos talked to the 49ers about a Talib trade, but that it's not likely to get done. It's possible that Talib gets his wish and is released, and sources tell Russini that the Patriots would be at the top of his list.
Talib, 32, is due $19 million in salary over the next two seasons. So since a trade would likely require no more than an extremely low draft pick and some financial restructuring, it's going to be very hard for the Broncos to move him.
However, Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reported on Wednesday that the Patriots are one of several teams engaged in trade talks with the Broncos for Talib. And also that the market could be strong enough that the Broncos actually won't cut him before the start of free agency on March 14.
Despite Talib's high salary ($11 million in 2018 alone), it would only cost $1 million against the cap if he's cut. None of his remaining salary is guaranteed unless he makes the 53-man roster. But at the same time, teams are likely reluctant to give up a draft pick to risk that when they could just wait for the Broncos to cut him.
Still, if anyone would be unafraid to make a trade that would raise some eyebrows, it's Bill Belichick. And Talib has shown that he can still play at a high level. If he can keep that up, he'd be a very good addition to the Pats secondary and a defense in need of athleticism and toughness.
-- 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 [email protected].
-- Salary information via Spotrac