Today, Boston Herald writer Jeff Howe was asked about the Patriots using the franchise tag on Aqib Talib and he was very quick to shut down that notion.
There’s no chance the Patriots hit Talib with a franchise tag that will approach $12 million, though he’d be happy to play out the season under that exorbitant price. There’s no denying they want him back, and look at Bill Belichick’s public defense of Talib after the AFC Championship Game loss as an example. Talib will likely take a hometown discount if it’s close, but not if he perceives the Pats as low-balling him. If the Pats want him at three years and $21 million and Talib wants four years and $32 million, look for a compromise of three years, games-played incentives worth an extra $2 million and All-Pro incentives that help the deal approach about $25 million, so long as the cornerback market doesn’t unexpectedly tank like last year.
It sounds likely that Talib will be in a Patriot uniform next year but it will be interesting to see if he does in fact try out the market.