|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The trade deadline was extended to Thursday (today) and the Patriots made a move in an attempt to plug the glaring hole that is their secondary. They traded their 2013 4th round pick in exchange for Buccaneers’ cornerback Aqib Talib and a 7th round pick. Talib has had a few off the field problems in his young career. He is currently serving a four game suspension, which ends November 4th, for use of a banned substance (non-prescription Adderall). He will be eligible to return after the Patriots’ bye week.
Talib was the 20th overall selection by the Bucs in the 2008 NFL draft. He appeared to be on the Patriots radar on draft day, but with the 10th overall selection they went with Jerod Mayo, who you may have heard of. Talib is in his 5th season in the NFL and has recorded 18 interceptions. Over the course of his young career he has missed 14 games due to injuries and a couple off the field incidents.
Some may question the move due to his Talib’s past problems. However, Patriots defensive back Alfonzo Dennard was a projected first round pick this year, when an incident in the weeks leading up to the draft caused his stock to plummet all the way to the 7th round, where the Patriots scooped him up. Now Dennard has secured a slot in the rotation of defensive backs and has proven Belichick right in his decision to draft him.
The Patriots have a history of bringing in players with baggage (the aforementioned Dennard, Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Brandon Spikes, and Aaron Hernandez just to name a few) and they more often than not proven correct in taking them in. No one is putting Talib in Canton just yet, but he has shown the ability to be a premiere cornerback in the NFL. The Patriots need all the help they can get in their secondary, and the acquisition of Talib shows that they realize this is an area of weakness that needs attention. Only time will tell if this move pays off, but given Belichick and the Patriots’ track record,I’ll trust they know what they are doing.