As mentioned in a prior article, the Texans secondary was one of the worst in football, routinely getting burned for big plays every single game. This has led to the Texans looking towards free agents in the offseason, and a recent player that has caught their eye is Broncos corner Aqib Talib.
It has been reported that the Broncos want to get rid of Talib for awhile now. One of the reasons for releasing or trading Talib is so that the Broncos can dump a portion of his two-year, $19 million, contract. While a team would typically keep a Pro Bowl player for this price tag, Talib is 32, making him a liability in terms of age and health.
Furthermore, the Broncos currently have young corners in Bradley Roby and Chris Harris Jr., so keeping an older corner isn’t necessary at this point.
Another interesting reason for the Broncos wanting to dispose of Aqib Talib is because getting rid of some of his contract could give them the financial flexibility necessary to sign soon-to-be free agent Kirk Cousins. Since the platoon of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch aren’t cutting it, opening up cap space to sign Cousins makes sense.
The #Broncos are expected to try and trade CB Aqib Talib this offseason. Talib is due to make $11M in 2018 and $8M in 2019. If they can’t move him, they’ll most likely have to cut him. pic.twitter.com/NgGLvHoJa9
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) January 28, 2018
At 31 years old, in his eleventh professional season, Talib continued to dominate, ranking 15th among corners with an 86.2 grade on Pro Football Focus. This impressive season was capped off by his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl selection, and occurred only one year after an All-Pro selection in 2016.
Because of such a tremendous season, many believed that Talib would garner lots of trade value, but it is starting to appear as if he’ll be hitting free agency. This is because he delivers a major cap hit and takes away draft picks from any team he’s traded to.
Some food for thought but asked three GMs at Senior Bowl if they would trade for Aqib Talib — $12M against cap in ’18, $8M against cap in ’19 — all three answered “no” and they believed Broncos would release Talib because dead money charge is $1M so why surrender any picks
— Jeff Legwold (@Jeff_Legwold) January 28, 2018
Since he may be hitting a free agent class saturated with talented corners, his price tag could drop, making it easy for a team like the Texans to sign him. Since the Texans rank sixth in cap space available, they could easily acquire Talib regardless of whether his price goes down or not.
Another team reported to be in the mix is the San Francisco 49ers, who actually rank first in cap space available. The reason that the 49ers are involved is because their defense is horrendous and is in the bottom of the league in all defensive categories.
While the 49ers do have more financial leverage to get Talib, the Texans have the chance to make a playoff run right now, with star players such as Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus returning from injuries. This chance of a playoff run, coupled with the fact that they are one of the few contenders who have significant financial resources, gives the Texans a good chance at signing Talib.
Despite his age, Talib is still one of the premier corners in the NFL, and could be a major contributor for Houston. If the Texans want to make a playoff run, acquiring elite players like Talib is a must.