Aqib Talib officially is a Denver Bronco.
The former New England Patriots cornerback signed his new six-year, $57 million contract with $26 million guaranteed on Wednesday and explained how thrilled he was to join Peyton Manning and Co.
“Thanks for the opportunity to be here, opportunity to play for a great organization” Talib said at his introductory news conference, via The Boston Globe. “I’m just excited, man. Looking forward to the opportunity.”
The Broncos opened up their wallet to sign Talib, as the $26 million guarantee is the highest among all NFL cornerbacks, but the team reportedly did its homework before signing him to the monster deal. According to Mike Klis of The Denver Post, the Broncos checked in with former Patriots teammate Wes Welker, who knocked Talib out of the AFC Championship Game with a controversial hit.
Broncos called their slot receiver, Wes Welker, before engaging in serious negotiations Aqib Talib. Welker gave ringing endorsement.—
Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 12, 2014
Talib said he hasn’t spoken to Welker yet, but he emphasized there were no hard feelings between the two.
“Not yet. I’m sure I will,” Talib said. “Wes is a good friend of mine. I’ve watched the play a thousand times, and I can promise you he didn’t do it on purpose.”
Welker wasn’t the only member of the Broncos’ organization who was excited to add the dynamic cornerback. General manager John Elway was a busy man Tuesday, bolstering the Broncos’ defense by signing safety T.J. Ward and defensive end DeMarcus Ware, in addition to Talib.
“We know how much we hated playing against him, so we’re thrilled he’s come to the Denver Broncos,” Elway said. “He’s a tremendous player, tough, great cover guy. He’s going to really add to our secondary.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Presto89