Redskins fail to land Aqib Talib as cornerback agrees to deal with Patriots

March 16, 2013
Fred Davis, Aqib Talib
Aqib Talib upended Fred Davis as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Free agent cornerback Aqib Talib has agreed to a one-year contract to remain with the New England Patriots, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Redskins tried to sign Talib, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the deal with the Patriots had not been announced yet. The Redskins “were in play,” according to the person, who added that the Redskins’ salary “cap issues hurt” and it “just didn’t work out.”

According to another person with knowledge of the situation, Talib’s deal with New England is worth about $5 million. That apparently was too rich for the Redskins, given their tight salary cap situation.

The Redskins had hoped to reunite Talib with their secondary coach, Raheem Morris, who formerly coached him with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Redskins ranked 30th among the 32 NFL teams this past season in pass defense and they released veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall on Monday.

But those familiar with the Redskins’ salary cap squeeze had said throughout the negotiating process it was a long shot that the team would be able to fit a contract for Talib beneath its cap.

The Redskins this year must absorb the remaining $18 million of a two-year, $36 million salary cap penalty imposed by the league this last year. They had to make several moves, including the release of Hall, just to get beneath the salary cap and have proceeded with relative caution in free agency.

Talib was regarded as one of the better cornerbacks available in a free agent market loaded with them. He was traded from the Buccaneers to the Patriots this past season after spending his first four NFL seasons in Tampa. He has 19 interceptions in his five NFL seasons.

The former first-round draft selection has been suspended twice during his NFL career, once while with the Buccaneers for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy and once last season for a violation of the sport’s policy on banned performance-enhancing substances. Talib attributed last season’s four-game suspension without pay to Adderall use. His suspension from the 2010 season opener under the personal conduct policy followed an incident involving a cab driver.

He also was charged with a felony following a 2011 domestic incident in which he was accused of firing a gun at his sister’s boyfriend. But that charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was dropped in 2012.

 

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · March 15, 2013