Aqib Talib

West Notes: Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers

The Broncos have fallen quite a ways from their Super Bowl 50 win about two years ago. The team’s biggest question mark is obviously at quarterback, but there are a number of questions that John Elway and company will have to answer over the course of the offseason, explains Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Jhabvala mentions that the Broncos wide receiver position could really change over the next few months depending on how the front office approaches some of the playmakers that could enter free agency. The big name she mentions is Demaryius Thomas who could test the open market should Denver decline his $4MM option. He’s controllable for non-guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons, but the team could save some money or re-negotiate a new contract before a decision has to be made about that option. In addition to Thomas, Cody Latimer is an unrestricted free agent, Bennie Fowler is a restricted free agent and Emmanuel Sanders is a controllable veteran that could hit the trade block if the team rather invest in Thomas long-term.

Jhabvala also focuses on veteran cornerback Aqib Talib. She notes how he’ll turn 32 in February and is set to make $11MM in 2018. Although, the Broncos would only be responsible for $1MM if he were to be released. With Chris Harris and Bradley Roby under contract as well, it’s unlikely the team would hold onto all three for next season.

The article finally keys in on Denver’s starting running back, C.J. Anderson. Anderson is paid well for his position as he’ll make $4.4MM next season. However, his last two years of his original four-year deal that he signed in 2016 are non-guaranteed, so there is definitely significant money to be saved should the team move onto the likes of Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson or potentially a another running back that they draft in April.

Here’s more from the NFL’s West divisions:

  • Denver has to deal with an off-the-field problem at receiver as well. Their 2017 third-round draft pick, Carlos Henderson, was arrested this afternoon for possession of marijuana, per Brad Cesak of NBC6News (Twitter link). The 23-year-old was placed on the injured reserve with a thumb injury in the preseason, but could face league discipline for his most recent incident. This would be his first offense, but it’s not encouraging for a Broncos team potentially looking for steady contributors on that side of the ball.
  • The news that Pete Carroll would be replacing Darrell Bevell with Brian Schottenheimer as Seattle’s next offensive coordinator was met with some skepticism across the football world. However, Seahawks backup quarterback Austin Davis thinks that the change will bring some positivity to the team’s offense in 2018, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Schottenheimer coached Davis for three seasons while the two were in St. Louis. “We were very creative in St. Louis,” Davis told 710 ESPN Seattle. “We threw a lot of things at the defense, whether it was drop-back, whether it was play-action, whether it was quarterback movement, we had it all. And we were a really good screen team. If there was one thing I could pick out from last year, we couldn’t run screens.” The Seahawks offense was carried by Russell Wilson last season and is in need of a new identity as the team looks to get back into the postseason.
  • 49ers promising rookie linebacker Reuben Foster recently got in trouble with the law for having possession of marijuana, which is likely to effect his paycheck in the years to come. The 2017 first-round pick had about $2.5MM in guaranteed money from 2018-2020, but that will probably be voided because of specific wording in his contract, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Corry explained that Foster had a clause in his contract that if he were to be fined for a violation of the NFL’s drug policy, that money would lose its guaranteed status. The former Alabama defender fell down the draft board a bit last year because of some personality issues, and his immaturity has now clearly cost him in terms of his wallet.
  • Current 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made some extra cash after the Patriots beat the Titans to advance to the AFC Championship, according to Corry in another tweet. Corry reports that Garoppolo received an extra $51k in playoff money for the victory because he was with New England for at least eight games this past regular season.

Extra Points: Broncos, Talib, Jaguars, Lee

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib wants to finish his career with the Broncos, but he also knows that a return might not be in the cards.

If I wasn’t [returning], it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world,” Talib said on Denver’s Altitude 950 (transcription via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “You have three corners making big money and that’s rare to have. I had conversations with our staff during our exit meetings and stuff, so it’s kind of up in the air. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still here. Just put it like this: I had good conversations with [head coach] Vance [Joseph], with [defensive coordinator] Joe Woods. I mean, things change. But there’s a chance I will be back.”

Talib, 31, has two years left on the five-year deal he signed with the Broncos in 2014. He’s slated to carry a cap hit of $12MM in 2018, but the team can release him and carry just $1MM in dead money. If Talib wants to stay in Denver, he’ll probably have to take a pay cut to make it happen. The Broncos can’t afford to squander any of their cap room, particularly with Bradley Roby’s salary increasing from ~$1MM to $8.5MM next season.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee did not practice on Wednesday and may not practice this week. However, the belief is that he will be able to take the field against the Bills this weekend, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Lee had the most receptions of any Jags receiver this year (56) and finished second in receiving yards (702). If Lee cannot go, Jacksonville will have to lean a bit more heavily on Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole.
  • Meanwhile, Titans running back DeMarco Murray has been ruled out of Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Chiefs (Twitter link via Rapoport). As a result, Derrick Henry will see a larger share of carries.
  • The Giants‘ interview with Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is scheduled for Friday, Rapoport tweets.
  • The Cardinals will have their interview with Patricia on Saturday, Rapoport hears. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is set to interview on the same day.
  • The Lions will get to talk with Patricia over the weekend, according to Rapoport.

NFL Reduces Michael Crabtree, Aqib Talib Suspensions To One Game

The Raiders will have Michael Crabtree back in their starting lineup come Week 14. The NFL reduced the wideout’s two-game suspension to one on Tuesday night, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports, adding Aqib Talib‘s two-game ban has also been trimmed to one (Twitter links).

Crabtree will only miss this week’s game against the Giants. The Raiders face the Chiefs in Week 14. Talib will miss Sunday’s Broncos-Dolphins game but be back for Denver’s Week 14 game against the Jets.

The two essentially shared culpability in the widespread brawl that featured the rivals in a rare one-on-one fight scene in the end zone. But a day after the suspensions were handed out, the Raiders and Broncos received word the NFL has softened its stance upon appeals voiced from James Thrash (representing Talib) and Derrick Brooks (representing Crabtree).

Talib will save $570K as a result of Tuesday’s adjusted punishment. Crabtree will save $367K. This will be Talib’s second one-game suspension in three seasons. He missed a November 2015 game as a result of on-field actions against the Colts. Crabtree will miss his second game as a Raider. The veteran pass-catcher played in each of Oakland’s 32 regular-season games during the 2015 and ’16 seasons before missing Week 4 of this season — against the Broncos.

Both Vance Joseph and John Elway stood by Talib during his appeal hearing, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.

The Raiders still could be facing the prospect of playing without Crabtree or Amari Cooper for the first time since the duo became Raiders two seasons ago. Cooper is dealing with a concussion and a sprained ankle. The Broncos will turn to Bradley Roby to start opposite Chris Harris, with third-round rookie Brendan Langley — whom Cooper scored a short touchdown against during Sunday’s Raiders win — filling in as the nickel presence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib Suspended Two Games

Both wide receiver Michael Crabtree and cornerback Aqib Talib have been suspended two games for the fight that took place during yesterday’s game between the Raiders and Broncos, the NFL’s Vice President of Football Communications, Michael Signora, has announced on Twitter.

"<strongNormally when players are ejected because of personal foul penalties they are not subject to suspension of any kind. However, both players had a history of bad blood with each other that boiled over again on Sunday, even after it was reported that the refs had each given a warning to both sides before the game started, knowing that there had been prior altercations.

Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan explained the reasoning to both players in separate quotes in the press release. Runyan stated the multiple violations and excessive violence that took place after the play, which led to a team-wide brawl that could have easily been avoided.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds that both players will be appealing their suspensions in the coming days (Twitter link).

While no other suspensions were announced by the league, Raiders lineman Gabe Jackson was mentioned as being another possibility to face league discipline as well in terms of a fine for his role in the dispute.

Two games is a very serious punishment when looking at the history of fights throughout the league and will definitely stick in the mind of any player looking to start problems from past events.

The suspensions themselves affect the Raiders more than the Broncos as Oakland is still in the playoff hunt. But, without Crabtree and perhaps fellow WR Amari Cooper, who suffered a concussion, in addition to the sprained right ankle we learned about earlier today, the Raiders will need the likes of Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton and Cordarrelle Patterson to step up vs. the Giants in Week 13.

Denver has a capable backup corner in Bradley Roby, but is likely to add further depth for the next two weeks as the team only has one other backup on the depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Closes Aqib Talib Investigation

The NFL has formally closed its investigation into Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib‘s 2016 shooting episode, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links). As was expected, the league will not discipline Talib with either a suspension or a fine.Aqib Talib (Vertical)

[RELATED: Broncos Exercise Bradley Roby’s 2018 Option]

Talib, of course, was not charged with a crime after Dallas police concluded the veteran defensive back shot himself. On the night of the incident, Talib reportedly told police he was at a park when he was shot, but the police were investigating the evening in full. “Everything was a blur and I was too intoxicated to remember what happened,” said Talib at the time. Authorities never recovered the weapon used in the shooting, and few (if any) witnesses were talking about what happened.

Talib, 31, isn’t getting off completely scot-free, however: Pelissero reports Talib must complete a firearm safety course and provide a list of the weapons he owns. Compared to the sanctions that Talib could have faced, however, those requirements seem infinitesimally insignificant. Talib is under contract with the Broncos through the 2019 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Kelly, Rams, Broncos, Talib, Wolfe

In the midst of a dreadful season, 49ers coach Chip Kelly says he hasn’t discussed his future with team brass.

No,” Kelly said, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “We haven’t had any conversations about that at all. About anybody’s job security.”

After losing 30-17 to New England, the Niners are now 1-9 and their nine-game losing streak ties a 38-year-old franchise worst. Still, Kelly is in his first year with the team and he did not inherit a great roster. It would be a bit surprising if Kelly was jettisoned so soon, but then again, coaches are often on a short leash in the NFL.

Here’s more from the West divisions:

  • In the middle of the 2015 season, the Rams canned Frank Cignetti and installed Rob Boras as the team’s offensive coordinator. Will they make a similar move this year? “Not given it any consideration,” Fisher said (link via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times). “I did that last year. I have confidence in Rob and the offense has confidence in Rob. And the offense right now knows they’re not doing what they should be doing.” The Rams currently rank 31st in total offense, 28th in passing, and 29th in rushing.
  • The Broncos expect to have cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive end Derek Wolfe back for Sunday night’s game against Kansas City, as Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com writes. Talib has missed three games with a back injury and Wolfe was absent in Week 10 as he dealt with an elbow issue.
  • The Chiefs worked out long snappers Thomas Gafford and Clint Gresham, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.

AFC Notes: Browns, Jets, Broncos

Cleveland fell to 0-10 on Thursday when it dropped a 28-7 decision in Baltimore, but first-year Browns head coach Hue Jackson hasn’t lost any support from ownership. “Jimmy Haslam and Dee Haslam have been outstanding,” Jackson said Friday (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com). “Obviously, they don’t like to lose, either, but they understand the plan and what we’re trying to accomplish.” Considering the Browns are in a full rebuild and have “the youngest team in the league with the most rookies,” as Jackson pointed out, it’s no surprise he’s safe.

Here’s more on Cleveland two other AFC clubs:

  • While Jackson’s not in jeopardy of losing his job, he did make a head-scratching choice against the Ravens. During a 13-7 game in the third quarter, Jackson pulled rookie quarterback Cody Kessler in favor of Josh McCown. The veteran completed just 6 of 13 passes for 59 yards and two interceptions, making Kessler’s 11-of-18, 91-yard, one-touchdown performance look great in comparison. Jackson opened up about the QB switch Friday, saying (per Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com), “At the time, it was the right decision to make for our football team because I was looking for a spark, and I didn’t get it. I am not going to be perfect in everything I do, and I am not going to do what everybody thinks that I should do. I am going to do what I think is best for our football team. Last night, I made the choice, and it did not work out. I will take the heat.” The Browns will give the reins back to Kessler against the Steelers in Week 11.
  • Jets coach Todd Bowles announced that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a game-time decision on Sunday (Twitter link via the team). If Fitzpatrick’s knee injury prevents him from playing against the Rams, the Jets will turn to second-year man Bryce Petty for his first-ever NFL start.
  • Defensive end Derek Wolfe and cornerback Aqib Talib will miss the Broncos’ game against the high-flying Saints on Sunday, but head coach Gary Kubiak is optimistic the banged-up pair will return after the team’s Week 11 bye. “I think we’re lucky with Derek, and Aqib has kind of been trending in that direction that whole time,” said Kubiak (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post). “He’s been out there all week. He’s been a part of what we’re doing, but just not ready to get turned loose yet.” Talib’s back injury also kept him out last week for the Broncos’ 30-20 loss to the Raiders, while Wolfe suffered a hairline fracture in his right elbow.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Jaguars, Talib, Browns, Bengals

Could the Jaguars hire Tom Coughlin as their next coach? No conversations have taken place between the two parties, but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com wonders if the Jags could be interested in Coughlin, who was their very first coach as an expansion franchise. Coughlin – who coached the Jags from 1995-2002 – still has a home in Jacksonville, his charity is based there, and he has made it clear that he wants to coach. One source close to the situation told Schefter that “it’s not the craziest idea in the world.” One obstacle, however, could be Coughlin’s age (71 next August), as well as the fact that he enjoys his current role with the league, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today.

More regarding Jacksonville and three other AFC teams:

  • Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib will not play on Sunday night against Oakland due to his back injury, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets.
  • The grievance for cornerback K’Waun Williams against the Browns is expected to be heard around February, his agent tells Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (on Twitter). Williams just had ankle surgery on Monday and 12-week recovery period is expected.
  • The Bengals tried out kicker Travis Coons, according to Katherine Terrell of ESPN (Twitter link). The club also auditioned Zach Hocker, Kai Forbath, and Randy Bullock this week, but Mike Nugent remains in place as its lone option at kicker. The 34-year-old Nugent is on notice, though, having connected on just 14 of 19 field goals. In the Bengals’ 27-27 tie with the Redskins last week, Nugent missed a field goal and an extra point.
  • The Browns are considering switching second-year man Cameron Erving from center to right tackle, head coach Hue Jackson said Friday (via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com). The 2015 first-round pick struggled at guard as a rookie, starting in just four of 16 appearances, and has performed poorly at center this season while battling injuries. Erving, who has appeared in five of the Browns’ eight games, is currently Pro Football Focus’ worst-ranked center.
  • The Jaguars worked out punter Brock Miller, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Miller is the second punter to audition for Jacksonville this week, joining Cody Webster.

AFC Notes: Gronk, Broncos, Raiders

Appearing on CSNNE (video link), Albert Breer of TheMMQB said that he wouldn’t be totally shocked if the Patriots decided to eventually trade tight end Rob Gronkowski. When healthy, Gronkowski is a game-changing force who can terrorize any defense. However, he has had trouble staying healthy and he can sometimes be a high-maintenance player. In the past, Breer notes that those types of players have not lasted long in New England.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • It appeared earlier this week that Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian would miss at least one game because of an AC joint sprain in his non-throwing shoulder, but he could start Sunday against Atlanta, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Siemian resumed throwing on a limited basis during individual and seven-on-seven drills Thursday. That encouraged head coach Gary Kubiak, who called Siemian’s progress a “big step forward,” though he cautioned that the team will have to gauge the 24-year-old’s soreness on Friday. If Siemian is unable to play, rookie Paxton Lynch will make his first career start. The first-rounder from Memphis debuted in relief of Siemian in the Broncos’ 27-7 win in Tampa Bay last Sunday, completing 14-of-24 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown.
  • While the NFL is reviewing a June incident in which Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib shot himself in the leg, potential punishment from the league probably isn’t imminent, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Talib will play Sunday, and the league is unlikely to make a decision on his status by the Broncos’ game next Thursday in San Diego. The 30-year-old has already intercepted three passes, already equaling his 2015 total, and will match up against Falcons superstar receiver Julio Jones on Sunday.
  • The Raiders worked out tight end Rob Housler, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. The team has since promoted UDFA Ryan O’Malley to the 53-man roster, so Housler probably won’t be signing with Oakland at this time. The Raiders lost Lee Smith to injury earlier this week and he is likely done for the year after going on IR.

Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

Dallas Police Conclude Aqib Talib Shot Himself

The Dallas Police Department has closed its investigation into Aqib Talib, and has concluded that the Broncos cornerback did in fact shoot himself, as Rebecca Lopez of WFAA tweets. A self-inflicted wound had been the prevailing theory ever since Talib was involved in a firearm incident in June. Talib will not face charges.Aqib Talib (vertical)

[RELATED: Latest On Trevor Siemian]

While one recent report indicated that Talib would not face league discipline for his involvement in the matter, Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post reports (Twitter link) that the NFL is still reviewing the shooting. In June, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported that league punishment is coming for the cornerback. Commissioner Roger Goodell is not a fan of firearms, and the fact that Talib was apparently intoxicated — and has a history with weapons – could factor into any disciplinary decision.

On the night of the incident, Talib reportedly told police he was at a park when he was shot, but the police were investigating the evening in full. “Everything was a blur and I was too intoxicated to remember what happened,” said Talib at the time. Authorities never recovered the weapon used in the shooting, and few (if any) witnesses were talking about what happened.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.