On Thursday, the day of the NFL’s Week 10 Trade Deadline, the Patriots traded for Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ CB Aqib Talib.
The Patriots sent a 2013 4th round selection in exchange for Talib and a 2013 7th round pick.
Talib, a 4-year veteran of the NFL, is considered to be in the upper-echelon of defensive backs. At 26 years of age, and a $1.825M salary, the move is very low-risk for New England.
The acquisition of Talib eases the struggles of a much maligned secondary that ranks 30th in passing yards in the NFL. Patriots defensive backs lead the league in passes completed over 20 yards. Additionally, the secondary has been plagued as of late by an injury bug that has claimed both Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory. The move to acquire Talib is one of talent – as he is one of the better cover corners in the league – as well as depth, and flexibility. With Talib in the mix, McCourty can be bounced between Cornerback and Safety, a spot he has become familiar with over the past year.
Talib brings to the Patriots his own brand of swagger – one of confidence, as he’s proven in coverage and in his knack for the ball. Since being drafted in 2008, Talib has collected 18 interceptions over the course of his career. Other than CB Shawn Springs, that’s more than any other Patriots’ DB since the departure of CB Asante Samuel that same year. (Safety John Lynch did not appear in a regular season game for the Patriots.)
The move not only fills an obvious hole for the Patriots, but bolsters a position that has been sub-par for years. Should the acquisition pan out, it could end favorably for Belichick, who has recently been criticized for his handling of the secondary in recent years.