The New England Patriots got Aqib Talib for nothing and almost got him several times.
The Patriots have repeated the same formula for acquiring talent over and over again: take advantage of the league’s poor results and try to rob disgruntled players from downtrodden organizations.
And, for some reason, it especially helps with looting in Tampa Bay.
Just over a year before New England signed Darrelle Revis after being unceremoniously cut off a year from a mega-deal in Tampa, the Pats tested the waters, adding DB Aqib Talib in November 2012, while giving up very little in return. .
New England sent a fourth-round pick to the Bucs and received Talib and a seventh-round player to revitalize their playoff push. Those picks amounted to very little (the Pats added Michael Buchanan; Tampa took William Gholston), but Talib more than did his job in a short sprint to the finish.
In 2012, Talib had just one New England pick in six games played – a 59-yard six-yard pick in his debut with the Pats against Andrew Luck and the Colts. At the time, his arrival was met with skepticism – after all, Talib was coming off a four-game prohibited substance suspension and fought with his teammates on several occasions.
The Patriots relied on their culture to change the attitude of the Talib and, as usual, it worked. In 2013, his only full season in New England, he was named the AP’s second All Pro team. Although he went in free agency, the Talib continued to connect to openings with the Pats over the years.
In 2018, as a Broncos Cup loomed, Talib launched a comeback to New England.
He almost maneuvered the East Coast again at the end of 2018 – the Broncos transferred his contract to the Los Angeles Rams, but the Patriots were also involved until the last bell and defeated his Rams in the Super Bowl (as they often did).
Although the Talib Broncos tormented the Patriots for much of his contract in Denver, he was an integral part of two Pats playoffs and rehabilitated his New England career.
And yes, it was bought for a song. Thanks, Tampa. Like always.