With the big name signings of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Wednesday, and now Sean Smith (along with others), the cornerback/defensive back market is now completely opened. Cornerbacks are now starting to learn their market value by basing it upon these initial signings. DRC signed a $4 million contract for one year with the Broncos. Sean Smith signed for $6 million/year with the Chiefs. Another cornerback, Derrick Cox (formerly of the Jaguars), signed a 4 year, $20 million deal with the Chargers. How will these deals affect Aqib Talib and the rest of the market?
Talib’s situation is similar, but not the same as, Wes Welker’s. The Patriots made an initial offer, and Talib sat on it. When the Patriots made their initial offer to Welker, he was insulted and immediately decided to bolt. Aqib Talib doesn’t have this close of a relationship to the team, so he handles free agency in a more business-like manner. He will probably judge what the other cornerbacks have gotten, assess his own value, and make a decision between the Patriots and the Redskins. The Patriots would be foolish not to give him around 6M/year if it comes down to it, but he should be signed for around 5M/year. He was an obvious game changer in the defense and our secondary will perish without him.
Another possible (but extremely unlikely) Patriot is Brent Grimes. Brent Grimes is a big name CB formerly for Atlanta who is on the free agent market this year. He is a very productive player, and although he was out for most of the 2012 season with an ACL injury, he will most likely still play at a very high level. Grimes will demand around $6-8 million judging on the bonuses and whether the team he signs with is a “competitor”. If the Patriots put their heart towards signing him, they could probably get him.
So main idea: Talib will probably want around 6M and we need him back, and it would be nice to have Grimes at around 7M. Lets get it done Patriots.