Yes, we understand some of you are angry the Green Bay Packers didn’t try to acquire cornerback Aqib Talib from the Denver Broncos. The suddenly busy Los Angeles Rams have agreed to acquire Talib from the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
Rams are expected to trade a 2018 fifth-round pick to Broncos for CB Aqib Talib, per source. https://t.co/y5eQAfOErx
A small price to pay, right? Certainly one the Packers could afford, right?
Not if you pay any attention to the other ramifications.
First and foremost, Talib is due $11 million this year, a salary the Rams will now have to pay as a result of the trade. The Packers couldn’t afford that. Not without making a number of other moves or releasing a player with a substantial contract. Green Bay is only $15 million or so under the salary cap, according to NFLPA numbers released earlier this week. They’re going to give $11 million of that to Talib?
No. Not possible.
Second, Talib is 32 and while he’s still solid, he’s also probably a one-year rental. Although he’s under contract for 2019, that season of the contract would pay him $8 million. The Packers, as the Rams likely will, would employ Talib for a year and then release him. He’s on the downside of his career and we don’t know too many cornerbacks getting $8 million per season when they’re 32.
Third, Talib, to some degree, seemed to dictate his destination. The Packers were not among the chosen teams.
Aqib Talib wanted to play for Wade Phillips in LA or Bill Belichick in New England; idea of playing elsewhere was not something he found desirable. This helped dictate trade to Rams.
Talib had his best seasons when Wade Phillips — now the Rams’ defensive coordinator — was the Broncos’ defensive coordinator and when he played for the New England Patriots from 2012-13.
Interestingly, the Rams also signed former Packers cornerback Sam Shields earlier in the day. We noted then that Shields seemed to have a decent chance to start, along with another trade acquisition, former Kansas City Chief Marcus Peters. Now, the Rams are loaded at cornerback, at least until Shields gets injured.
Perhaps the forgotten man in all of this is Trumaine Johnson, who is going to become a free agent. Johnson is arguably the best of the group, but let’s be clear. The Packers likely won’t be able to afford him either. Based on what we’ve seen with recent top-tier free agent cornerback signings, Johnson could come in around $15-16 million per season.
Hell, if anything, the Packers should take a flyer on Tramon Williams. Even at 34, he had a damn nice season for the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. And he won’t cost much.