Aqib Talib says Patriots tried to sign him to cover tight ends

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By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots really need to figure out how to cover tight ends in the passing game this season. To accomplish that, they tried to turn to an old friend.

Former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib revealed on Wednesday that he's retiring from the NFL and starting a new podcast, "Call To The Booth." Toucher & Rich ought to be excited about the news. But interestingly enough, Talib says he almost gave it one more year for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

"Bill Belichick called my phone told me he that had the role of a lifetime for me ... he really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends," said Talib in a clip from the podcast. He added that he was close to agreeing to come back for around $6 million, but then he saw the Pats' 2020 schedule. It's packed with great tight ends: George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and Mark Andrews are among the most challenging covers.

So Talib decided to stay retired and do the podcast instead.

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8: Aqib Talib #31 of the New England Patriots looks on during a game with Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Aqib Talib announced that he's retiring and starting a new podcast, revealing in the process that the Patriots tried to sign him. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

"Strapping" tight ends wouldn't have been a totally new role for Talib. In 2013 he covered Jimmy Graham, who at the time was in the midst of a first team All-Pro season for the Saints, and held him without a catch on six targets.

Left to figure out how to cover tight ends without Patrick Chung and without bringing Talib back, Belichick may turn to 2019 second-round pick Joejuan Williams. He stands at 6-foot-3 and has reportedly been meeting with the safeties. Williams would also have trouble getting on the field at cornerback with the Patriots' outstanding depth at that position.

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For that reason, Williams could be one of the key players to the Patriots' 2020 reboot. Talib, meanwhile, will continue to be one of the most entertaining figures in the NFL as he starts his new podcasting venture.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at [email protected].