The Patriots want cornerback Aqib Talib to return, but it’s a matter of price tag, writes Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. Talib is a highly effective player when healthy, but injury concerns figure to drive his contract demands down. Reiss projects a three-to-four-year deal at around $8MM annually, with guarantees in the neighborhood of $12-14MM, figures similar to those in Antonio Cromartie‘s contract signed before the 2011 season. Like last year, it stands to be a buyer’s market in terms of cornerbacks, with other options like Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner, and Vontae Davis available. Reiss ultimately believes Talib will re-sign with the Patriots.
Other notes from the AFC East:
- Within the same post, Reiss indicates that Julian Edelman could approach the salary range of Danny Amendola, who was guaranteed $10MM over five years. While the Patriots could likely afford this, Reiss sees Edelman moving on, and identifies the Texans, with former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien now in charge, as a top suitor.
- The Patriots could stand to improve with regards to signing veteran free agents. Last season, they paid about $14MM to Amendola, Adrian Wilson, Tommy Kelly, and Leon Washington, and got little to no return.
- Some in the industry believe Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson should hold out during training camp in an attempt to get a new contract, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Wilkerson is due only a maximum of $7.2MM over the next two seasons, assuming the Jets exercise his 2015 option.
- Cimini urges the Jets to get involved in any Larry Fitzgerald trade discussions, although he notes that Fitzgerald’s $18MM 2014 cap hit could be troublesome.