Aqib Talib Retires, Reveals Patriots Tried To Sign Him For Specific Role

Talib almost returned for Round 2 with the Patriots

by Zack Cox

September 9, 2020

Aqib Talib came very close to rejoining the New England Patriots this offseason.

During the debut episode of his “Call to the Booth” podcast, the veteran cornerback revealed New England attempted to sign him for a very specific role ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

Talib, who played for the Patriots in 2012 and 2013, said he received a call from “my big homie Bill Belichick.” Belichick, Talib said, wanted to bring him in to cover tight ends.

He seriously considered it.

“(Belichick) told me he had the role of a lifetime for me,” Talib said. “… He really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends.”

Talib said the Patriots would have paid him up to $6 million — “a nice vet contract” — and that he nearly accepted their offer.

“I was halfway out the door,” he said. “I got flights. I started finding apartments. … If I could make $6 million and guard tight ends all day, I’m like, ‘I’m cool.’ “

Then, Talib took a look at the Patriots’ schedule. He saw it includes matchups with Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, San Francisco’s George Kittle, Baltimore’s Mark Andrews and Las Vegas’ Darren Waller — four of the NFL’s top tight ends.

Renowned for his brash confidence, Talib questioned whether he’d be able to keep up with these stud pass-catchers. And once that happened, he knew he couldn’t sign with New England — or any other NFL team. He decided to retire.

“I looked at this f—ing schedule, and the thought, I said, ‘Can I even strap these dams tight ends?’ ” the 34-year-old said. “And then I said, ‘Aw, s—. It’s over with.’ Once that negative thought crossed my mind, I was like, man, my heart, my competitive edge, I ain’t really in it like that no more.”

Talib played 12 years in the NFL, earning five Pro Bowl nods and winning one Super Bowl (with the Denver Broncos in 2015). His 35 interceptions since he entered the league in 2008 are tied with Richard Sherman for second-most by any player during that span. Only Charles Woodson (38) had more.

As for the Patriots, they’re looking for a new tight end stopper after safety Patrick Chung opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Versatile second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams could be among the31707588 players tasked with those responsibilities this season.

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