Aqib Talib

Deadline Fallout: Harris, Jets, L. Williams

Despite a great deal of hype, Tuesday’s trade deadline went out with a whimper. As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, that was largely because the presumed sellers — most notably the Bengals, Redskins, and Broncos — overvalued their assets. It was expected that Cincinnati’s and Washington’s stubbornness could torpedo potential deals, but Denver was similarly obstinate. For instance, the Broncos were asking for a second-round draft pick for CB Chris Harris when the market dictated that a fourth-rounder would be an appropriate return.

Now for more deadline fallout:

  • Jets RB Le’Veon Bell recently said that his former club, the Steelers, were interested in re-acquiring him in advance of the trade deadline, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirms that Pittsburgh did indeed speak with the Jets about Bell. However, when it became clear that the shoulder injury that James Conner sustained in the Steelers’ win over Miami last Monday wasn’t as serious as it first appeared, talks with Gang Green cooled. Bell wasn’t the only RB the Steelers were interested in, per Schefter, but he was easily the most prominent.
  • At least one team tried to blow the Jets away with an offer for defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, as Schefter writes in a separate piece. The unnamed club thought New York would be unable to turn down the blockbuster package of draft picks, but Williams was deemed untouchable by the Jets’ front office, and Gang Green stuck to its guns.
  • We already heard that the Giants would try to work out a contract extension with the newly-acquired Leonard Williams, but Schefter says Big Blue will open negotiations before Thanksgiving. Of course, it could be difficult for player and team to agree on Williams’ value, and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com believes that Williams is going to test free agency (Twitter link).
  • The Rams traded Aqib Talib to the Dolphins in a pure salary dump, as they gave Miami a 2020 fifth-rounder just to take on the remainder of Talib’s contract. Peter Schrager of the NFL Network says Talib believes he will be healthy enough to return to the field this season but is unsure as to whether he will suit up for Miami (Twitter link). He may elect to cool his heels before he hits the open market in March, but he holds no ill will towards LA.

Deadline Fallout: Penny, Rams, Adams

Since using a first-round pick on Rashaad Penny last year, the Seahawks have not given him a lead backfield role. They preferred Chris Carson and Mike Davis leading the ball-carrying group last season and have Carson entrenched atop the depth chart this year. As such, the Lions expressed interest in Penny prior to Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline, John Clayton of ESPN 710 AM Seattle notes. Seattle sought a second-round pick for Penny, though it doesn’t sound like the team was shopping the second-year back. Penny can be under Seahawks control through 2022. The Lions have run into trouble in their backfield, losing starter Kerryon Johnson. They were interested in Kenyan Drake, but the Cardinals ended up making a deal with the Dolphins. Ty Johnson, Tra Carson and ex-Seahawk J.D. McKissic represent the Lions’ primary running back options for the stretch run.

Here is the latest deadline fallout:

  • The Dolphins will send the Rams a 2022 seventh-round pick for Aqib Talib, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. With Talib on IR until at least Week 15, the rebuilding team is likely only interested in the fifth-round 2020 choice it acquired. The 33-year-old cornerback looks headed toward free agency for the first time since 2014.
  • As for the Rams, they want to use some of the savings from this move to re-sign emerging linebacker Cory Littleton, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Littleton is one of a few key Rams on expiring contracts, joining Michael Brockers and Dante Fowler in that group. Playing on a second-round RFA tender, Littleton has operated as Los Angeles’ top linebacker this year and would stand to attract considerable interest as a 2020 UFA. With a high-end Jalen Ramsey re-up coming, the Rams will be tight on cap space, however, and may have to bid farewell to a few role players — like they did this offseason.
  • Chris Harris has stuck to his guns about testing free agency this time around. He signed a five-year, $42.5MM extension with the Broncos in late 2014, and that deal became one of the most team-friendly pacts in the league in the latter part of the 2010s. The 30-year-old cornerback does not plan to sign a Broncos extension before reaching the market, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes. However, Harris has said he wants to finish his career in Denver. He and the Broncos were not close on terms this offseason, but Renck added a that third Broncos contract could be in play for the four-time Pro Bowler.
  • The Day 3 pick the Cowboys offered the Jets, in addition to the first-round pick included in the proposal, for Jamal Adams was either a fourth- or fifth-rounder, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The Jets wanted a first and a pair of seconds for the Pro Bowl safety, one GM Joe Douglas still calls firmly part of the team’s long-term plan, per ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini.

Rams Trade Aqib Talib To Dolphins

The Rams are making a move at the deadline. Los Angeles is shipping cornerback Aqib Talib off to Miami, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Schefter reports that the Rams are sending a fifth-round pick to get the Dolphins to take on Talib. The Rams will get a future seventh-rounder back, per Albert Breer of SI.com (on Twitter). This is a straight up salary dump, and not a move Miami is making for the player. We heard just a couple of days ago that the Rams were open to moving Talib, so this isn’t too surprising. Los Angeles is reportedly looking to free up money in order to extend the recently acquired Jalen Ramsey.

It makes perfect sense for the Dolphins too as they continue to stockpile draft picks, and they have plenty of cap space. Talib is currently on injured reserve, so he won’t be eligible to play until Week 15 anyway. It’s quite possible, if not likely, that Talib never ends up playing a snap for the rebuilding Dolphins. The Rams picked up $4.2MM in cap space by making the trade, tweets Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap.com. It’s the latest in a growing trend of NBA-style salary dump trades to non-contending teams. Prior to a few years ago, these moves were virtually unheard of in the NFL.

Talib is 33 now, and he didn’t look his best before going on IR with a rib issue. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and it’ll be very interesting to see what his market looks like. He’s obviously getting up there in age, but he should still receive some interest due to his pedigree. The former Buccaneer, Patriot, and Bronco made five straight Pro Bowls from 2013-17.

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Rams Open To Trading Aqib Talib, Other Vets

The Rams are open to trading veteran players in the last years of their contracts, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. The report was published last week, but Schefter retweeted it today, presumably to point out that LA’s mindset has not changed.

The team’s acquisition of Jalen Ramsey is behind the Rams’ willingness to move veterans, as the club is hoping to free up some payroll in order to extend their new superstar. Of course, the team has to strike a delicate balance, as it obviously believes it can contend for a championship this year.

One player who could be traded, per Schefter, is cornerback Aqib Talib. Talib is currently on IR, but he can still be traded and could return later this year to help a contender. Indeed, the Rams were engaged in trade talks concerning Talib earlier this month, but Talib reportedly opposed those talks.

If the Rams truly are interested in dealing vets who are eligible for free agency in 2020, players like Michael Brockers and Andrew Whitworth could theoretically be on the block.

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Rams To Place Aqib Talib On IR

For a second straight season, the Rams will place Aqib Talib on IR. The 12th-year cornerback’s rib injury will end up sidelining him for at least eight more weeks, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Talib missed Sunday’s game against the 49ers and would not be able to return until Week 15 because of this transaction. This timetable closely mirrors the Rams’ 2018 Talib plan. The Pro Bowler went on IR after Week 3 and returned in early December.

Los Angeles’ defense suffered last season without Talib, with teams picking on Marcus Peters in what became a tough season for the then-fourth-year veteran. The contract-year corner will again become the Rams’ top outside cover man. The Rams roster veteran Troy Hill, ex-waiver claim Darious Williams and third-round rookie David Long at corner. Hill started in Talib’s place against San Francisco.

The Rams were playing better when they placed Talib on IR in 2018. The defending NFC champions are now 3-3, having lost three straight. Talib’s future with the team is also murky, with the 33-year-old defender’s contract expiring at season’s end.

The Rams traded for Talib in their action-packed 2018 offseason but by December will have seen him miss 15 games. Talib was far more reliable in Denver, having missed just six games in four Broncos seasons.

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Todd Gurley Unlikely To Face 49ers

The Rams’ latest key NFC West matchup will likely unfold without Todd Gurley. The quadriceps injury the All-Pro back has encountered will bring a doubtful designation, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets.

Gurley has not missed a game since December of 2018, but instead of the problematic knee issue the two-time first-team All-Pro and the Rams spent the offseason addressing cryptically, it will be a quad malady that has him on the verge of sitting out Sunday’s game against the unbeaten 49ers.

Malcolm Brown will be set to start in Gurley’s place, with third-round rookie Darrell Henderson mixing in. The Rams have also declared Aqib Talib out for Week 6. The Rams have used Brown sparingly this season, giving Gurley 64 carries to Brown’s 26. Brown has also caught just one pass compared to Gurley’s 14. Neither have been particularly effective pass catchers this season, and Gurley is well off his recent prolific paces. Brown is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, however.

A first-team All-Pro in 2017 and ’18, Gurley is averaging 4.2 yards per carry behind Los Angeles’ remade offensive line. His 338 scrimmage yards are noticeably behind the prodigious paces he set in his age-22 and age-23 seasons, which ended in 2,093- and 1,831-yard totals. Now, this quadriceps issue becomes a concern — as do the Rams’ chances of dropping to .500.

A rib injury will sideline Talib, who has been less available in L.A. compared to his Denver days. Talib missed eight games last season, landing on IR for half of it.

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Rams Activate Aqib Talib From IR

The Rams officially activated cornerback Aqib Talib from injured reserve. Talib, who was designated for return earlier this week, is likely on course to play this Sunday against the Lions.

Talib’s return is huge for a Rams defense that has struggled in recent weeks. Talib’s surgically repaired ankle is good to go, and he’ll help a unit that has allowed at least 27 points in the past four games. In Talib’s three games with the team, the Rams allowed 0, 13 and 23 points, though two of those contests were against the Raiders and Cardinals.

Before the injury, Talib had a reputation for durability. From 2012-2017, he never missed more than three games in a season.

The 10-1 Rams have pretty much clinched the NFC West. If they beat the Lions, they’ll take another step towards securing a first-round bye.

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Rams Designate Aqib Talib For IR Return

Going into their December slate, the Rams will have a key piece of their defense back on the field.

The Rams designated Aqib Talib for an IR return on Monday. This matches up with the timeline Talib gave recently. He will be eligible to return this weekend against the Lions but has 21 days to be activated.

Either way, this should be a critical boost for a Rams defense that’s struggled in recent weeks. Talib was placed on IR because of an ankle injury, for which he underwent surgery. He’ll return to practice in advance of Los Angeles’ Week 13 preparations.

Coming off their historic 54-51 win over the Chiefs, the Rams obviously are one of the NFL’s Super Bowl favorites. But they’ve now allowed at least 27 points in their past four games, with their past three opponents eclipsing the 30-point barrier. In Talib’s three games with the team, the Rams allowed 0, 13 and 23 points. Granted, two of those performances were wins over the Raiders and Cardinals, but could be a significant development for a dominant team.

The Rams gave up a fifth-round pick for Talib, who is signed through the 2019 season. Fellow trade acquisition Marcus Peters has struggled for much of this season, so it will be interesting to see how he fares when working with Talib again.

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Aqib Talib Targeting Week 13 Return

Aqib Talib underwent ankle surgery more than a month ago, but the Rams weren’t planning for the former All-Pro cornerback to miss the rest of the season. It looks like that’s still going to be the case, and Talib may not be out any longer than he’s forced to be.

Talib said during an NFL Network interview (via ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez, on Twitter) he expects to be full go by Week 13. That’s the first game for which he’d be eligible to return from IR. The Rams face the Lions that week, which follows their Week 12 bye.

The Rams could certainly use the help in coverage. They rank 15th in pass defense DVOA and have seen trade acquisition Marcus Peters fail to live up to expectations. The former All-Pro and defensive rookie of the year has been regularly beaten in coverage this season, with Michael Thomas‘ 72-yard, game-clinching touchdown the latest example. Although, slot man Nickell Robey-Coleman‘s remained one of the best at his position.

Familiar with Wade Phillips‘ system far more than Peters, Talib returning would bring a key element for the Super Bowl-contending Rams. They explored cornerback help at the deadline but instead used 2019 draft capital to acquire Dante Fowler.

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Rams CB Aqib Talib Expected Back This Season

When cornerback Aqib Talib was placed on the injured reserve earlier this week, there seemed to be some optimism surrounding an eventual return. Rams coach Sean McVay echoed that sentiment on Friday, telling reporters that he expects the veteran to return before the end of the regular season.

“We’re very encouraged,” McVay said (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry). “And I know Aqib feels that way and we’re looking forward to getting him back. I don’t know exactly what that date would be but I know that the anticipation is to get him back.”

Talb suffered a high ankle sprain in the Rams’ win over the Chargers on Sunday, and there was initially some worry that his subsequent surgery “would reveal a season-ending injury.” That didn’t end up being the case, but the Rams still placed the 32-year-old on the IR. Talib will be eligible to return during the first week of December.

After having made five straight Pro Bowls, the Rams acquired Talib from the Broncos back in March. The defensive back had started each of his three games with Los Angeles, compiling nine tackles, two passes defended, and a forced fumble. During his absence, the Rams will likely turn to one of Nickell Robey-Coleman or Sam Shields to team up with Marcus Peters in the starting lineup. The team is also rostering cornerbacks Troy Hill and Dominique Hatfield.

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