Found January 22, 2013 on Boston's Bettah:
Aqib Talib was arguably the most valuable Patriot, and his injury on Sunday highlighted it While the beginning of the AFC Championship wasn’t the greatest start for the New England Patriots offense, the start of the game for the defense was spectacular. The stout run-defense was swallowing up the Ravens run game and their receivers could not gain separation against a tight Patriots secondary. It seemed like it was going to be a good day for them when on a third down, Aqib Talib jumped a route, knocked the ball down and gave the ball back to the New England Patriots offense. This was also the play that changed the AFC Championship for the worse. The second that the play was over, the group I was watching the game with noticed that Aqib Talib was hopping off the field, the sign that a leg muscle had been tweaked. We kept hoping and praying that it wasn’t a muscle pull, that maybe it was just a celebratory hop after making a big-play early in the game. Then, CBS showed the replays and it was evident something was wrong. Talib knocked the ball down, and immediately reached to grab the back of his leg. It was a pull or strain of the hamstring, but no matter what his day was done and the Patriots’ defense wouldn’t be the same. All year long, the talk was that the Patriots’ MVP was, once again, quarterback Tom Brady. The play of the defense after the Talib injury made it pretty clear that Talib was at least cooperative, if not the, most valuable player for the New England Patriots. When Talib made his debut as a Patriot earlier this season, his first big play was an interception that he returned for a touchdown. The Patriots defense changed that day. Instead of being vanilla and “bend but don’t break” that the Patriots used to sneak their way into the Super Bowl last season, they took more chances. Talib’s strength allowed the Patriots to play more 2 deep, man under defense and allow Talib to shut down half the field with safety help over the top. It also let the Patriots get after the quarterback and force bad passes. When Talib left the game, it forced the Patriots back into their vanilla defense, and the Ravens exploited it for big plays down the field. When the Patriots offense failed to get going that was the ballgame. It was the first of many turning points in a game that the Patriots never deserved to win. That injury may prevent the Patriots from resigning Talib this off-season. He was available due to off the field issues as well as being an expiring contract and he has suddenly played himself into a multi-year deal. Furthermore, contracts in all sports are about player value. Agents negotiate contracts based on their values to a team and Talib leaving the game due to injury greatly increased his value to the New England Patriots. Not only did he make the Patriots defense better, but he also made players like Devin McCourty and the much maligned Kyle Arrington by allowing them to play more natural positions in safety and nickel-corner respectively. Talib is only one of many free-agents the Patriots would like to resign, and they don’t have the cap-space to resign all of them. Since Talib’s value has sky-rocketed after what happened to the Patriots’ defense after the injury, he might become the most expensive. The Patriots and their fans would prefer the team to resign him this off-season because he made the Patriots as a team so much better than the one that was a play away from winning the Super Bowl a season ago. It’s not very often where an injury can increase the price of a player to a team. Sadly, this might just be the case.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Patriots CB Aqib Talib will test free agency market this offseason

The New England Patriots traded for Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib just prior to the trade deadline this season in order to try to bolster their secondary. Talib was a rental for the Patriots this year, with his impending free agency. The corner suffered an injury in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens, but it appears that Talib is ready to explore free agency...

Aqib Talib enjoyed his time with the Patriots

With New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib scheduled to become a free agent in March, and says he’s enjoyed playing for the Patriots and is ready to see what the future holds. “I’m not really worried about all that right now,” he said Monday. “Like you said, the game was 12 hours ago. I’m in the training room with the guys, we’re having fun right now. I’m still...

Will Aqib Talib return to New England?

I wish we were talking about how New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib would impact on the Super Bowl. Oh, how everyone wishes that. But the seasons over, and we have to talk about the future of our players. One of those is Talib, who signed a deal until the end of the season after being traded. And he has had a great impact on the woeful secondary. You could tell as soon...

Aqib Talib’s Injury Didn’t Affect Patriots’ Game Plan, But Personnel Adjustments Hurt Team

FOXBORO, Mass. — Coming in to Sunday night’s game, the Patriots had a big advantage over the Ravens from the first time the two teams faced each other — a revamped secondary. Unfortunately, that upgrade in the defensive backfield didn’t last long in the AFC Championship Game, as newcomer Aqib Talib got injured with just over five minutes left in the first quarter. After the...

Patriots' CB Talib leaves game with injury

New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib was forced to leave Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter because of a leg injury. He was taken to the locker room before returning to the sidelines, but it was uncertain whether he would return to the game. USA Today reported that the injury appeared to be to his hamstring. Talib played...

Aqib Talib Too Expensive For Patriots?

WEEI's Christopher Price doesn't think the Patriots will be able to retain impending free agent Aqib Talib.Fantasy Spin:Price writes, "Aqib Talib is going to get paid this offseason. It won't be by the Patriots, but he'll get paid." Talib, acquired from the Buccaneers in a trade earlier this season, told reporters after Sunday's loss to Baltimore that...

Re-Signing Aqib Talib A Must For The Patriots?

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald suggests that re-signing cornerback Aqib Talib is a must for the Patriots this offseason given his impact on their underwhelming secondary. The Patriots’ secondary had a hard time slowing down Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense in the second half of yesterday’s AFC Championship game, which most likely had something to do with Talib’s absence....

Aqib Talib Proclaims ‘I’m Still a Patriot,’ Says He Enjoys Playing in New England

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...

Vote: If the Patriots Can Re-Sign Either Wes Welker or Aqib Talib, Who Would You Choose?

The Patriots have some tough decisions to make now that their season is over. Two key players are free agents after this season, and each played a major role in the AFC Championship Game. If you had to choose, which player would you pick for the Patriots to re-sign, Aqib Talib or Wes Welker? Talib was only on the team for half a season, but he made a major impact in New England...

Aqib Talib Needs to Be Treated With Caution by Patriots, But He Is Best Option to Fill Void in Secondary

FOXBORO, Mass. – If the AFC Championship Game was Aqib Talib‘s final game with the Patriots, his final play would be a fitting view into his short stint in New England — effective yet injury filled. Near the end of the first quarter in the championship game, Talib flew across the middle of the field and swatted a potential third-down conversion out of Ravens receiver Torrey...

Bernard Pollard, Dropped Passes, No Aqib Talib, Etc.

First let me say that it was a fun ride this season, and at the beginning of the year I did not expect to even be in this game. However, I did expect to win it all when the playoffs began because the Patriots were healthy, so it was still a disappointment. Once again, I'm hearing, "If only Welker caught that pass." This, of course, makes Wes Welker the scapegoat again...

If you could only resign one, would it be Aqib Talib, or Wes Welker?

So, I'm curious what people think on this one. Given the choice of one of the two, who do you resign? I'll weigh in with my thoughts tomorrow. If you could only resign Welker or Talib, who would it be? As always, follow me @CultOfBelichick or check out my page here: http://www.nepatriotslife.com/search/label/CultOfBelichick

Moving on....offseason to-do list

So, after that ******* debacle last night, I am going into full offseason mode, which is when you will get the best of my blogging. You didn't see much of me during the playoffs, but that was mostly just me trying to not jinx anything. So, without further ado, here are the 5 most important things. 1.) Re-sign Sebastion Vollmer - It's easy to overreact to last night and think...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.