While Wes Welker‘s contract situation will be a hot topic surrounding the Patriots’ offseason, the team also has a big question mark on the other side of the ball.
Cornerback Aqib Talib is slated to become a free agent, and while it’s obvious New England could use a shutdown corner like Talib, it remains to be seen whether the Patriots are willing to give him the lucrative contract he’ll likely command.
Talib was asked about his future plans in the Patriots’ locker room on Monday, and while he didn’t go into specifics about whether or not he plans to return to the Pats next season, he did speak highly of his time in New England.
“I’m not really worried about all that right now,” Talib told reporters. “The game was 12 hours ago. I’m in the training room with the guys — we’re having fun. I’m still a Patriot. I think free agency don’t start til March, so until then, I’m still a Patriot. And I’m going to enjoy my time.
“I definitely enjoy being a Patriot.”
Talib certainly had a profound impact on the Patriots’ defense upon coming over in a trade with Tampa Bay. He gave the unit a bit of an edge, a number of pieces fell into place and the results got better as the year went on. Talib left Sunday’s AFC Championship game in the first quarter, and he did not return, which undoubtedly hindered New England’s chances of slowing Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense.
Talib also left any baggage he may have had at the door upon arriving in Foxboro. Despite some concerns about his character, Talib steered clear of trouble with the Patriots, which further justifies the midseason trade. And even if Talib moves on to another franchise in the coming months, he can at least look back at this year’s experience as a positive one.
“I had a lot of fun,” Talib said. “I definitely enjoyed my time here. We’ll see what happens in the future but I definitely had the most fun I had playing football in a long time here.”
Many Patriots fans surely had fun watching Talib, and although the team stumbled on the big stage, we’ve all witnessed a marriage that could be worth continuing.