As the Denver Broncos look to free up salary this offseason, cornerback Aqib Talib could be on the move.
Since the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50, a top-tier defense has not been able to carry an inept offense to the playoffs in either of the last two seasons. A run at a quarterback could be on the offseason agenda, and to that end Mike Klis of 9 News Denver has reported the Broncos are expected to try to trade cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib was Pro Football Focus’ No. 13 cover corner this season, on his way to his fourth Pro Bowl in as many seasons as a Bronco. But he’s due to make a total of $19 million over the final two years of his contract ($11 million in 2018, $8 million in 2019), and he’ll turn 32 on Feb. 13. With Chris Harris due to make $8.5 million next season and Bradley Roby due $8.256 million under the fifth-year on his rookie deal, having $28 million in salary cap space taken up by three cornerbacks is easy to see as a non-starter for the Broncos.
Talib acknowledged his lack of a future in Denver right after the season was over, with the idea he could be cut. The Broncos can clear $11 million of his $12 million cap hit from their books by releasing Talib before June 1, so there would virtually no consequences for doing that. But it makes better sense to try to trade him, since he’s showing signs of still being one of the top cover corners in the league and definitely has some value.
Any team with some cap space and a need at cornerback should have some interest in Talib. Among teams with the most salary cap space, via Over The Cap.com, the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (reunion?), Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams stand out as teams Talib could have interest in being traded to. Assuming John Elway gives him some say in that destination.