NFL - National Football League

03/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 18:57

Broncos, Patriots talking deal involving Aqib Talib

Richard Sherman isn't the only marquee cornerback set to become available in the days before the onset of free agency.

A week after noting that Aqib Talib's roster spot is in jeopardy, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Denver is shopping the five-time Pro Bowl selection.

Although the 49ers have had 'pretty intense conversations' regarding Talib, Rapoport revealed on Up to the Minute Live that trade will not happen.

A more realistic scenario is a deal with the Patriots. The two organizations have talked trade, Rapoport added, but appear to be engaged in a standoff.

Aware of Talib's affinity for Bill Belichick and his staff, the Broncos are not wild about the idea of setting the veteran free to join the Patriots without receiving compensation in return. Belichick, meanwhile, isn't enthusiastic about the prospect of surrendering draft capital for a player seemingly destined to be released.

'I do know that there's interest from Talib in going back to New England,' Rapoport emphasized. 'And, of course, that would make a lot of sense.'

The Broncos would like interested teams to believe they are in no hurry to jettison Talib because no part of his contract is guaranteed until 53-man rosters are set on September 1, per Mike Klis of KUSA in Denver. In reality, however, the team's brass would prefer to erase Talib's $11 million salary from the books in time to pursue a free-agent quarterback such as Kirk Cousins by the start of the NFL league year next Wednesday.

Which side will blink first? Expect to have your answer within the next week.