If you ask former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, fans of his former team better start preparing for life without legendary quarterback Tom Brady. The 34-year-old veteran who spent just under two seasons with the team from 2012-13, and who is also a free agent himself, explained why he believes the 20-year-relationship between Brady and the Patriots is over.
“I think Tom is gone,” Talib said during an appearance on NFL All Access on the NFL Network. “I think it’s a done deal. Bill is going to be Bill. Them calls are going to be short and to the point. We got a report that said it didn’t go well. I had a call that didn’t go well with Bill before, so I can imagine what happened on that call.”
Talib explained that Belichick gave him a clear ultimatum. It boiled down to come here to win some football games or go somewhere else to make a ton of money. Talib chose the latter and cashed in on a six-year, $57 million contract with the Denver Broncos in 2014. That’s the contract he just finished. One wonders if Talib, a very good player, but not someone on Brady’s level, or with his tenure and connection to Belichick would be treated the same as a guy who is arguably the greatest QB in history.
Talib insisted, “he treats everybody the same.” That theory figures to be put to the test in a major way over the next week. Teams can begin to contact Brady on Wednesday, March 18, and early indications are that there is a lack of communication between the two sides.
“It’s kind of a chip on both of their shoulders that’s like, ‘I want to do this thing and see if I could do it without him,” Talib added. ” … It’s 50/50 right now. 50 percent of people say it’s Tom, 50 percent of people say it’s Bill. They want to figure it out.”
With just over a week remaining before others are invited into the discussion, time is drawing short. The closer we get to the moment of truth, the easier it is to believe the foreboding takes of people who seem to be getting closer to the actual decision-makers.
By next week, we’ll either have the highest-profile NFL free-agent signing in history, or all of this speculation will be much ado about nothing.