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Cory's Corner: Aqib Talib Would Be A Great Fit

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Cory's Corner: Aqib Talib Would Be A Great Fit

This NFL free agent class is a large bowl of average.

And we all know that new Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst isn’t going to keep the roster the same.

With the Packers and Aaron Rodgers still hashing out a deal, the quickest way to a team makeover is through the defense. A lot of people have said that a good trade target for the Packers is Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. That would have been a fine offer…before he ruptured his Achilles tendon in Week 10.

An Achilles tendon injury for a soon-to-be 30-year-old isn’t a worthwhile investment for a team that is in win-now mode.

Nope, the player that I would target in a trade is Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib. He has been one of the most consistent corners in the game as evidenced by only 54.3 percent of passes thrown his way last year that were caught — at 31 years old.

Talib will be 32 next season and the Broncos aren’t going to be much better without a reliable quarterback and now would be a great time to strike on an elite talent that can quickly turn a defense. This move would allow the Packers time to know if Kevin King is in fact a top cover corner or if Damarious Randall can be trusted in that role for an entire season.

The only downside is that Talib has a cap hit of $12 million in 2018. It would be easier to swallow for the Packers if Denver would eat some of that, which would mean the Packers would likely have to give up a couple of mid-round picks.

That’s worth it to bolster a defense that has been dreadful on the back end while adding leadership at the same time. He’s got a Super Bowl ring for Denver and he has played under Bill Belichick for two seasons. He’s got the winning recipe.

It’s also a good move for new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He has a gambling, blitzing defense and it while the line and linebackers are rushing the passer, someone reliable must be in the secondary.

Would this move solve all of the Packers’ problems? No way. There is still a huge question on the right side of the offensive line, the backup quarterback is a problem and a more consistent pass rush must be generated.

But adding Talib would solidify to the rest of the locker room that Gutekunst doesn’t want more of the same — he wants to win now. And that’s exactly what the veterans want. This is Rodgers’, Davante Adams’, Jordy Nelson’s, Clay Matthews’ and David Bakhtiari’s time.

Trading for a player on the other side of 30 is a gamble, but so is starting Randall as your top cornerback all season. The Packers need a presence at corner because they will be facing Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Jimmy Garoppolo and Matthew Stafford twice. That’s a lot to ask for any defensive back, but it makes Pettine’s job a lot easier knowing that he has a five-time Pro Bowler — all after age 26 — locking things down for him.

The Packers are never far away from another Super Bowl berth with Rodgers under center. Talib makes that goal a lot easier to see. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (64) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

4thand1's picture

Other than being a head case on the field, I don't know of any off field issues with Talib. I think this would be a good move, the Packers could use more nasty.

TheVOR's picture

Dudes a basket case, it's not like his cap number in his final year is killing Denver or anything, they want him out of Denver. He's undisciplined on the field, takes stupid penalties, suspensions, and as for off field issues, he got shot in the ass with a hand gun and did a real good job of covering up the shenanigans and actual truths associated with the incident.

Decent football player all said, but I'd hate to see him in GB. Plus he's on the starting to decline end of the 30's. Just barely started to see a drop off last year.

I vote No! My 2. I live here, I watch him play all the time. Good player, just a head case and even a locker room distraction to an extent.

John Kirk's picture

Locker room distraction? Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post wrote this answer to a reader's question on Talib...

If Elway cuts or trades Talib, how do you think that’ll impact the locker room?

Kiz: The shock was when the Broncos cut TJ Ward. As I said at the time, that was the end of the No-Fly Zone. Folks scoffed. But the locker room knew it was true. And I think it also sent a message to the locker room that Elway and the folks in the front office thought it highly unlikely the Broncos could be a serious playoff contender in 2017. My guess is the shock is over. Teammates love Talib. But they get it’s a business.

---The guy is loved by his teammates. Doesn't sound like any type of distraction to me. He can play CB very well. We don't have guys who can play it very well. Yes, he's had some bad incidents, the beating of the taxi driver being one, the alleged shooting at one of his family member's, and the cover up with him shooting himself in the leg. I don't like any of that. However, he's been suspended for a whopping total of 1 game and that was for his fight with Crabtree last season. There appears to be little worry that at 32 he's going to be suspended for multiple games or any games and he is loved by his teammates. As bad of a guy he might be off the field, doesn't mean he can't be a veteran leader in our locker room and loved by our guys.

Packer Fan's picture

This is the Packers biggest need. Only have Randall not hurt and King coming off of injury. Rest are unproven. And Pettine wants to have a good secondary. Pick up a good CB like Talib or Butler and also add another low price veteran. This us something that TT would never do and it showed how bad the CB's were the last few years when injuries hit and young players didn't live up to expectations

PackEyedOptimist's picture

The first thing I think of when I see Aqib Talib's name, is Jordy Nelson. Some of the other Draftniks out there might remember that Nelson's torching of Talib in a college game was often pointed to as a sign that Jordy was going to be a good NFL player. I wonder how their relationship is today? Also, it would be ironic if the Packers cut/reduced the salary of Jordy to get Talib...

Nick Perry's picture

After I watched that I clicked on the Jordy Nelson highlights vs the Jets from 2014. He had 209 yards receiving that game and made some ridiculous catches. No matter what, I NEVER want to see Nelson playing anywhere other than GB.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Nelson's college highlights remain the best/most awesome highlights of any Packer drafted in the past 20 years. I was SO pumped when I watched them right after he was drafted.

The TKstinator's picture

Highlights have a way of doing that.

Packer Fan's picture

I watched the video. You could see how fast Jordy was then

Hawg Hanner's picture

Yes you could see how fast he was then. Now is just a train wreck. Every good receiver the Pack has had hits the same wall. Nelson is a great guy but the fan sentiment expressed here to keep him around is incredibly unrealistic.

Nick Perry's picture

Why?? If Nelson took a pay cut and performs like he did the first 5 weeks WHY WOULDN'T we want a guy back who caught 6 TD's in 5 games.

Damn dude, if that's what you call "incredibly unrealistic fan sentiment" then I'll be over here with the unrealistic bunch of us.

If Nelson played at a reduced salary and played mostly in the slot I don't think he should go anywhere. Rodgers and Nelson aren't just on the same page, those two are on the same SENTENCE!

Savage57's picture

Will probably command too high of a price tag for it to make sense for the Packers to take the gamble he's not a season away from falling off, and I don't think he accepts a one year deal.

On top of that, Talib looks goofy and is hard to understand when he talks.

The TKstinator's picture

“Looks goofy”
“Hard to understand when he talks”

Leaves the cap off the toothpaste
Uses the last of the toilet paper and doesn’t replace the roll
Jams the office copier and leaves it that way

Yep, we want no part of this guy.

4thand1's picture

The toilet paper thing does it for me, say no way.

stockholder's picture

FA A large bowl of AVERAGE!!! Age and 12 million? I'll keep the picks. The packers don't need his presence because of whom they face. If Hayward can become an all-pro, So can King and Randall.

ShanghaiKid's picture

Stock I’ve got to disagree, Hayward is flat out better than Randall, and it’s not really that close. King didn’t see/stay on the field enough as a rookie to judge, he has the measurables to be an all-pro but can he do it? Time will only tell.

But for context on either being better: Hayward had more PBU and INT’s his rookie year than Randall and King had combined last year. It’s not as easy as saying these guys can be as good because player X is.

stockholder's picture

Hayward may be better now. But that wasn't the opinion when they let him go. Same with House. We've had a lot of Cbs come and go. And it seems it's injuries, or lack of speed, is why they don't want to pay them. Needless to say; I'm against drafting, or signing anyone that can't run 4.4 for the packer's secondary. Randall still has that closing speed. The avg. salary for a starter is 12 mil. I don't believe these guys are terrel Buckley. But even he got better. Let's give them time.

Nick Perry's picture

In a piece before I said I'd pass on Talib but after looking at Talibs current contract I saw he's still got 2 years remaining on his deal. He would cost the Packers $11 million in 2018 and $8 million in 2019. Talib is EXCELLENT playing man to man and would be godsend for the Packers as long as his head stays in the right place.

One thing is certain, the Packers HAVE to go out and get a CB with the skills of Talib. They have to have one CB the KNOW will be able to pretty much lock-down the opposing #1 WR. If Randall continues to play like he did at the end of 2017 and King's shoulder issues are finally behind him, the Packers would have a pretty nice threesome back there in the secondary.

If it's not Talib it will have to be someone else for the Packers to get where they want to go..The SB. Butler will cost more and so will Johnson. Gains might cost a little less but according to Sportac less than a million annually and that's when you average out Talib's remaining 2 years.

worztik's picture

I believe that he’d be a cancer in the locker room!!! Why do we want a 32 y/o corner coming in and affecting the Psyche of the DB group!!! Why are we all giving up on Randall and King so soon??? We need to draft better than we have been and not rely on other team’s castoffs...

Packer Fan's picture

Wonder if they could trade Cobb for Talib

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No one is giving up on Randall and King. You do realize a team needs 3 CBs (especially if King and Randall with their injury concerns constitute 2 of them). Really, a quality 4th CB is nice to have.

flackcatcher's picture

If Hawkins had developed, or Rollins not reinjuried his thigh we wouldn't be facing these issues. Resigning House would be the safer option. May be T. Williams if you can get him at the league minimum. Really, these are rent a players with age and wear, Hard to build a long term defense, but the Packers may have no choice. It all depends on who they draft this year.

Bearmeat's Phantom Downvoter's picture

Talib would answer a lot of GBs current needs. Talib as a #1 would allow King to grow into the role and be the #2. It would keep Randall at Nickel CB. And then we can look for a CB4.

He is crazy. But this team currently has no crazies on it and could handle one I think.

flackcatcher's picture

With the draft choices alone, that puts the Packers close to the cap wall. With the extensions of Adams and Lindsey the Packers made their choices on FA. I hate to say this, as you pointed out Nick, there are two trains driving down the same track. The cap train, and the free agent train. (Not counting Aaron Rodgers train waiting for permission to leave 0:) In reality, the Packers may not have the money to sign any free agents (unless they are at the league minimum.) I question if the team can sign it own veteran FA now. Lots of unanswered questions here.

John Kirk's picture

The draft class is going to count approximately 3.685 million barring anything out of the ordinary like getting another 1st round or 2nd round pick. That leaves over 13 million as of now. We're not near the cap wall. There are going to be some likely departures, like Burnett, Brooks, etc. that will increase our cap and we may move on or restructure Bulaga, Jordy, RC18, Clay. Tons of ways to go with the cap, and, of course, Rodgers contract extension is a huge factor. Decisions should be coming shortly on guys like Jordy, Cobb and Matthews.

There are a couple of considerations. We don't know if Denver is releasing or trading him. It's all but certain he will be released if they can't find a trade partner. This is a cap move for Denver not a we don't want him.

Talib won't be playing for us at 11 million next season. He's going to have to restructure to be a Packer. Curious how many suitors a guy his age with his concerns will have. We may be as we were with Woodson...his only hope, if released. Woodson didn't want to come here but had no other option save for Tampa who wanted him to play S. Talib is older and has a reputation, so we may find he would choose here due to no other option.

Not sure I would trade for him as he's likely to be released, but like with Keith Jackson we traded with Miami so we didn't have to compete with other teams. I don't think we're going to have that much competition for Talib's services, so I say, no trade, wait him out after he's released and get him at much more reasonable deal.

flackcatcher's picture

In the past, the Packers have not had their players restructure their contracts. The bulk of their money is paid up front leaving their base salary pretty low. Only exception is performance bonus which is pretty standard across the league. For the Packers, cutting a player means they take a low cap hit when they do. The mistake you are making is in thinking the Packers are budgeting for the now. This team is looking 3-5 years down the road, and it is clear that the Packers do not like what they see. This team in the past has signed players after their 3 year or let them go. With the two large drafts there will be far less cap space to sign players to competitive NFL contracts. And even if Aaron Rodgers signs a team friendly contract, it will still be a huge pac man gobbling up most of the cap space. As for the now, there are other FA CB who can do the job just as well as Tailb. He is a flat out head case, who not worth the time or money to bring in to a locker room already in transition. Besides, the Packers have shown us they will not tolerate head cases. Too much on the line for that nonsense this year.

Bure9620's picture

He's great at press coverage and also stabbing people in the eyes with his fingers. Difficult getting those digits around the face mask.

Denver's picture

He's also been known to rip gold chains off of player's necks and shoot himself in the leg at a strip club.

Nick Perry's picture

WOW really? Talib did that too?? I didn't think anyone else could possibly do something SO stupid other than Plaxico Burress.

Ether take his gun away or keep him out of the strip clubs during the season then.

Dzehren's picture

The Colts are transitioning from a 3-4 to a 4-3 Defense. Will have some scheme cuts. Also, a younger DB with a long term contract may suite the Pack better.

fthisJack's picture

i wonder if Denver would be interested in a slot receiver like Cobb. maybe a straight up trade for Talib and the Pack has a corner at a reasonable price for 2 years.

dobber's picture

They already have their own cap hogs at WR with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.

Rossonero's picture

No thanks. Talib just turned 32 and is a freaking goon.

Stabbing opponents in the eye, ripping off gold chains from WRs, getting into fistfights, getting fined and suspended.....yeah, that sounds like the type of high character guys the Packers look for.....EYE ROLL.

4thand1's picture

Better than getting beat like a orange cone on the field.

Rossonero's picture

We can do that without goons like him. We can do better.

carlos's picture

Dave Casper, back in the day, was a head case, but man could he play football.

John Kirk's picture

I love Talib. My only concern with him is would he have the passion for the Packers? He already has a ring. The thing I loved about Woodson was he didn't have one and desperately wanted one. We don't need another Marty B situation where a guy just shows up for the money.

How can anyone feel confident in Randall or King? I feel like way too many have penciled in either or both as solutions when either or both could just as easily be problems. Both are huge question marks to me.

This is a risk I would take. The sun is starting to set on our decades long run of HOF QB play. Playing for 5 years down the road no longer makes sense not that it ever did. Talib is a win now move and we need to win now.

Colin_C's picture

Paying big money for an old CB with serious on/off the field issues is not a risk I'd consider worth taking. Certainly something Thomson would never have done, but it'll be interesting to see how Gute handles things.

Bearmeat's Phantom Downvoter's picture

Yeah, he's old and crazy. But he can still play. We need help on defense immediately.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Talib would come with no guaranteed money on a trade. He thus is a possible move in my book. Most of the other options like Butler and FAs require a long term commitment with large amount of dead money. If Talib gets cut, as is rumored (maybe Denver needs to clear some cap if they really are interested in Cousins), a call to Talib's agent at least is in order.

Turophile's picture

Too much cost for someone who has always been very high maintenance. You end up just waiting for some new incident to come up..............and you know it is only a matter of time before it does.

CheesyTex's picture

Right on. After Martellus Bennett....

Qoojo's picture

I think people blame bad scheme/poor communication and zero pass rush on the DBs too much. Without a doubt, the biggest need is pass rushers, as many as they can get.

You could get the 3 best CBs in the league, and with the packers pass rush, receivers would still be open all day. With capers defense, I regularly watched all CBs stop at the first down marker (7-10 yards from los) and let everyone run past. That typically ended up with 2 safeties covering 3 receivers. Pass rush did not get to QB, so easy wide open pass and catch. Capers zone was an easy pitch and catch for the offense.

I don't think things are as dire at CB as people think, and definitely not worth the price of Talib for money or locker room cost. Put all that into taking a shot as pass rusher.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with this. The thing is, upgrading the pass rush is very difficult to do in FA, while upgrading the CBs can be done in FA.

Is it worth it? That's subjective,. I am not in love with the notion of signing Talib or any particular CB. Maybe we should upgrade WR, TE, RT/RG in FA instead, or perhaps ILB or safety. I'd like to see at least one of our many needs thoroughly and completely filled through FA.

Qoojo's picture

Nice. Those are all good. I kind of like the idea of trying to fill depth with FA. TE/ILB/OL.

Nick Perry's picture

This has been my thinking too. A CB can come in and learn Pettines defense much quicker than a WR, TE, or even O-Linemen. IMO the quickest way to get the Packers better on BOTH sides of the ball is using FA to fix the offense (WR, TE, and RG & RT) and the draft to fix the pass rush and CB.

Now if they could sign Trent Murphy from the Redskins for cheap and they were convinced he could play without the aide of PED's AND could stay healthy then by all means lets sign him.

I KNOW this won't be well received but for the purposes of this conversation what about this?

Sign Aldon Smith .... Is he Packers People...Hell No, but neither was Charles Woodson when he was first signed. Hell he didn't even want to be in GB.

BUT IF (Those are two BIG but's & if's) Smith has FINALLY pulled his head out of his rear end then what a boost he could bring to the Packers pass rush. If his butt is removed does he deserve another chance and should it be in GB??

stockholder's picture

I still don't see FA as the fix. I still believe the packers won't get away from the draft and development. I know Gute says he will participate more in it. But the money and cap problems, make the draft just the better fix. I don't think the packers will give up on Perry or Mathews. They'll Take Depth. So I don't see a FA like Murphy or Smith coming in. A TE yes, And they should try for a WR. But won't. They'll still wait until next year, putting them a year behind yet on Wr. The cb can be fixed, and like in years past. House was the fix. I don't see that again. While many cry for better. The packers will get 10 picks this year. CB- Who can run 4.4? Speed has been the packers success there. Ward maybe. Then Reid S ? There is no DE I would draft. Key Quit. Landry off field etc. So that leaves us with a predictable draft. DEPTH! IN the trenches! DL, OL, WR

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I agree, Stockholder. I'm a strong proponent of "Best Upgrade Available," which pretty much was TT's approach. If there is an OLB or CB that they believe is better than Matthews/Perry/Biegl/Fackrell/Odom/Gilbert or King/Randall/Hawkins/Pipkins/Waters/Brown, then take him, but if there is a MUCH better TE than Kendricks/Rodgers/Byrd/Tonyan than PLEASE take HIM! If Quentin Nelson or Saquon Barkley drops to 14, TAKE him. Etc.

The key is, is he better than your starter? There aren't many edge-rushers this year that I believe will be better than Perry or Matthews THIS YEAR. They may have potential, but if I can get a guy who I feel confident is going to be the STARTER at his position THIS year, I'm taking him. That's why I think I'd end up picking a TE in the second round; I think the guys who will be available will be able to start over our current roster. The first round pick is going to be all about who "drops" to us.

Nick Perry's picture

So I guess you guys would be totally against a guy like Josh Gordon signing if Cleveland let him go?

Again I'm not necessarily suggesting the Packers sign "Problem Cases" like Aldon Smith or Josh Gordon. BUT I'd imagine both could be had for pretty reasonable deals, fit under the Packers current cap AND if they were to both get their lives back on track the Packers would immediately have upgraded two huge areas of need, a pass rusher and a size/speed WR.

I know the possibility of something like this happening is somewhere between slim and not a chance but it's fun to imagine Smith paired with Matthews, Perry, Daniels, and Clark and even better to imagine what a WR like Josh Gordon could do with a QB like Rodgers....Holy SHI*

Bearmeat's Phantom Downvoter's picture

I would be 100% in favor of signing Josh Gordon. Dude is talented as hell.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

N.P., I'm not opposed to signing free agents, including ones with sketchy pasts, AS LONG AS the staff thinks he's going to be a fit. Gordon would be an upgrade at starter-PROBABLY, and I'm always in favor of that--IF the coaches agree the guy will fit in the locker room and the system. Success in one place doesn't always translate to a new team. Woodson did, Bennett did not. I am GREATLY in favor of upgrading the offense. I'm much of the belief that having the number 1 offense and a number 25 defense is better than a number 7 offense and a number 19 defense. An "unstoppable force" is a good bet.

Qoojo's picture

If the talent warrants it, I would even take a shot at two TEs in the upper half of draft. Pass catching TEs make the offense so much different. With that said, I think the packers still need to a lot of linemen depth.

Basically, TT has been using low cost and low ability UDFA projects to fill many depth positions and it has cost them late in the season with many injuries. Gute has to correct that with higher quality FAs and draft picks.

stockholder's picture

I understand that people may be talented. But How do you let; It's all about me in. Not to mention Attitude, and a past, in your locker room. I think Gordon; would be Randy Moss and Dez Bryant in one. Just a problem ready to happen. Not to mention giving guys the money; Could they really beat their PEDs? The TEs do not have the speed per second round. A good TE should run at least 4.69. ( What made Finley so good was his track records. etc. ) These guys that you want to take are more like KENDRICKS. So I would take a WR first. I hope they sign two FA TEs. I like S. Jenkins and Willson.

Colin_C's picture

Yeah, no thanks on Talib. If you thought that Bennett was a headcase, Talib leaves him in the dust. Guy has no self control, on or off the field. Plus, it's not like he's young and immature. He's old and immature. If we want to go after an old CB, might as well bring Shields back.

Finwiz's picture

I'd bet there isn't a chance in hell this happens.
Too old and too much money.
You're reaching.....Jennerjohn

Handsback's picture

It was obvious to most that the Packer's slot corner was struggling and often hurt. They drafted two new corners and both looked like they would contribute. They said bye-bye to their struggling corner. He leaves, gets healthy and is a star performer in the NFL.

We all learned that you don't give up on players that flashs talent. What did the the Green Bay management learn? Don't know, only they can answer that but if Green Bay is looking at FA, I bet they are going to look at other players like Hayward that have flashed and then been hurt or lost their mojo. House was similar, but never flashed as much as Hayward. That is the type of FA that the Packers will target. Butler and Talib will be grabbed by teams that have a big pot of money to spend like the Browns not a team with little or no cap like the Packers.

4thand1's picture

What's the scoop on M Butler? Why would he get benched ? Is Belicheat losing it, or did he really f up?

Packfer's picture

Thought I read Sam Shields is coming back.
Problem solved!

stockholder's picture

Much rather have shields if he can still run. We need speed in the secondary. Not guys on the mend. Step for step, and blanket the guy. Also I hope to see something more out of the safeties. Troy Polamalu could run 4.3. If Derwin James can't run it. Move on.

Handsback's picture

Shields coming back has been on the streets for a few weeks now. He's not coming back. Similar to Collins, Shields wants to come back and play, but probably not a single team would ever sign him because of his concussions. I wish Green Bay could sign him....Shields, Collins, Finnley, Sharpe, the ugly list of permanent injuries with the Packers just keeps growing!

DD's picture

I disagree with most thoughts of defensive backs, even though Penttine favors the secondary. No matter the backs, if the pass rush isn't there then no backs will help against today's elite QB's. We need a rotating, fierce, respected constant pressures. Problem solved! So all the DB talk? No rush, no defense.

Royalty Free GM's picture

-Cutt Cobb
-Reconstructure or cut Matthews
-Reconstructure Bulaga

Get CB Trumaine Johnson!

NAHX_SS's picture

Kevin King will certainly fulfill more playing time this season and alleviate the pressure on Randall, but we have already spent enough developing at corner the last few years to make it a focus yet again. This is something that can be addressed by moving around our defensive secondary pieces more freely as opposed to spending more money in free agency.

Trust the packer process.

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