On Thursday, it was mentioned in NFL rumors that cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Richard Sherman are looking at the New England Patriots as an option, per Boston Herald. That could play well into the Patriots’ roster situation, as it’s also believed that they could lose their star Malcolm Butler to free agency. Here’s the latest on what’s been said about either Talib or Sherman possibly joining New England for another run at the Super Bowl, as well as a few other options the Patriots have if Butler leaves.
Either the Seattle Seahawks’ or Denver Broncos’ loss could end up being Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ gain. The report on Thursday from Boston Herald‘s Jeff Howe included comments about Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib each having their eye on the New England Patriots. Howe mentioned that Sherman’s situation in Seattle is still unclear due to the fact that he is recovering from an injury still. However, the team could make a decision to trade him, or may even release him, depending on how the situation plays out. That would make Sherman a viable option to join an elite team such as the Patriots that is contending for the Lombardi Trophy each season.
Howe indicated that Sherman is open to playing for New England too.
“Last offseason the Pats did call the Seahawks about Sherman, who turns 30 at the end of this month, but the trade interest was brief. Sherman was receptive to the idea of joining the Patriots then and still is now if Seattle goes in another direction, according to a source.”
It’s mentioned that the Denver Broncos are in a rebuilding mode right now so they could shed veteran players in favor of other moves. They currently have Chris Harris and Bradley Robey for their cornerback position. Howe contends that Denver could consider releasing veteran Aqib Talib so they can focus their salary cap towards the pursuit of a new quarterback. Talib is also open to joining New England, per Howe.
“Talib, 32, would be receptive to the idea of rejoining the Patriots, according to a source. So if the Broncos unload him prior to free agency, that potential courtship could begin in the coming days.”
While Aqib Talib and Richard Sherman are both great at their position, both of these players are also a bit older than the 27-year-old Malcolm Butler. Sherman will turn 30 at the end of this month while Talib is currently 32. Of those two players, there is also clearly an injury concern by taking Sherman. That may be cleared up in the coming weeks as his progress is monitored. The Pats might decide that they’d prefer not to acquire either player due to their age or injury concerns.
However, it’s well known that big-name veteran players have joined the Patriots in the past and when they were moving past their prime. They’ve included great players such as Randy Moss, Tony Gonzalez, and most recently linebacker James Harrison. The former Pittsburgh Steelers veteran joined the Pats ahead of their latest postseason run, which ultimately ended up in a losing effort in the Super Bowl. Still, either Talib or Sherman could make their way onto the roster for another attempt, if things work themselves out.
There are other options, though, which might involve less money or risk. It’s suggested by NESN‘s Dakota Randall that the New England Patriots might also take a different approach and use Jonathon Jones at the position or consider drafting a cornerback next month. As of this report, New England has the No. 31 pick in the first round with other picks in later rounds which could bring them another cornerback.