Aqib Talib leaves Patriots for Broncos

When NFL free agency began Tuesday afternoon, John Elway quickly turned his attention to repairing the Denver Broncos’ defense that was shredded by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

He snapped up Aqib Talib, snatching another big-name player from the New England Patriots after getting Wes Welker last year. The Broncos gave the Patriots cornerback a gigantic deal, reportedly worth $57 million — $26 million guaranteed — for six years, but the move comes with some risk, given that Talib, 28, has had a history of injuries and had off-the-field issues in Tampa Bay. Still, he was considered the best cover corner in free agency and was a key piece of a Patriots defense that struggled after he was injured in the AFC championship game the last two years.

All told, the Broncos spent around $70 million, adding safety T.J. Ward earlier in the day. And Elway may not be finished tinkering with the defense. Three of the league’s top pass rushers, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers and Jared Allen all hit the market Monday. They’re veterans who’ve seen better days, but Ware in particular still can contribute and ESPN reports that the Broncos are the front-runner for his services.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · March 12, 2014