Surprise, surprise. After being hum on making a move at the trade deadline, Bill Belichick and company have acquired troubled cornerback Aqib Talib and a 7th-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s no surprise that the New England Patriots were looking for someone to add depth to their defensive backs. And after Ras-I Dowling went down with a thigh injury, it was clear that help was needed.
Unfortunately, Talib is on a four-game suspension for use of Adderal, which is a violation of the league’s policy on substance abuse. With the Patriots on a bye week he’ll likely return during the week 11 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Talib was the 20th overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft and while he’s been a bit of a trouble off the field, the talent is there. Here’s a look at Talib’s stats so far in his career.
This trade could mean a few things for the Patriots defense:
1) Devin McCourty could be making a full time move to the safety position. Since Patrick Chung has been out, McCourty’s done a great job at holding down the backline of the defense with some minor mistakes here and there.
2) Talib has potential to be the number one cornerback meaning that everyone will be pushed down a spot on the depth chart. It’ll add to the quality and depth of the defense with Alfonzo Dennard, McCourty and Kyle Arrington moved down a position. The quality of receiver that they have to play will downsize meaning better play from the group.
3) If Talib can be a solid man-to-man defender, it’ll allow the Pats to bring the blitz more. They displayed some blitzing against the St. Louis Rams last Sunday and it was only possible due to good cornerback and safety play. And adding the blitz will add to the anemic pass rush we’ve seen from the lineman this year.
This will be a five game tryout (not including playoffs) for Aqib Talib as he’s in the final year of his rookie contract. If he plays well, the teams might bring him back on a low deal.
In return, the Buccaneers will receive a 2013 4th-round pick.