Saw a lot of people talking about how this was a bad thing. How the Patriots have learned nothing. Blah Blah Blah. Bunch of yapping. Some people may not know this but Ol’ Bill Belichick is the GM of the Patriots as well as the head coach. Bill knows exactly what he’s doing. There are a couple of factors that played in to the non-tag. I’ll talk about them but only one really matters.
1. Money. For those of you boneheads out there sucking on Talib harder than a dog on a chew toy with peanut butter inside, the price of a franchise tag CB is $11.384 million. For those of you keeping score at home the deal we gave Talib was a 1-year $5 million dollar contract. So franchise tagging him doubles that. He’s not worth double what we paid him considering he was injured the past two biggest games of the season and missed out on a lot of games due to injury. Combine this with the fact that the Pats have an estimated $12,703,254 in cap space and a franchise tag makes zero sense. ZERO. Unless you want the Pats to go the rest of the offseason with $1.4 million in cap space for signings, like Julian Edelman, Ryan Wendell and LeGarrette Blount.
2. Depth at CB. Not sure how many times I have to say this but the Pats defense was pretty good with all of the injuries last year and even without Aqib Talib. The Pats only gave up 26 points to the Broncos as I’ve said countless times. Alfonzo Dennard had a great second season and once he gets out of jail (60 days) he’ll be ready to go. Kyle Arrington is a great nickel cornerback. One of the best tacklers on the team. Strong and big, he messes guys up at the line and can run with the number 2 WR on most teams. Logan Ryan had a FANTASTIC rookie season. He looked great in coverage and had a lot of INTs. Talib gives us more versatility, in that the Patriots can leave him on an island with everyone but Josh Gordon and roll coverage to the other side of the field.
It is not as imperative as people are making it out to be that we sign Talib. We certainly shouldn’t break the bank for him and a franchise tag would do just that. If he wants to test the waters of free agency he can. I’m betting other teams look at his track record with injuries and his past off the field issues and don’t pursue him or offer as much as he might want. The Pats know this so they will let it ride.
Biggest areas of improvement for our defense are safety and D-line. McCourty can’t do it all by himself back there he needs someone other than Duron Harmon or Tavon Wilson to cover the other half of the field. D-line is obvious. Peyton Manning’s jersey looked fresh out of the dryer at the end of the AFFCG. We had no pressure on him whatsoever. Vince is older and I’m worried his Achilles tendon won’t be able to carry the weight of the world after tearing. CB and LB are pretty solid without Talib and Spikes.