After cornerback Aqib Talib went down in the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots had no answer for Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who finished the game with 134 yards and a touchdown.
That performance by Thomas, sans Talib, illustrated to many just how important the cornerback was last year to the Patriots. In his weekly mailbag, Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com says there is a strong chance Talib will be back once again with the Patriots next season to shadow their opponents’ top receiver.
“I think the chances are strong that Talib returns to New England. With several top cornerbacks set to hit the market, and mutual interest between the sides, I think the key factors are in place for a deal to get done. Furthermore, the legal tampering period (March 8-11) should help both sides get a better feel for the market before it officially opens (March 11), which was the way it was supposed to work with Wes Welker last year. I think that experience from last year will aid both sides in this situation. As we know, anything can happen, but my view is that the right factors are in place to make a deal.”