There has been widespread speculation for weeks that the Denver Broncos would be making some big changes to their roster for the 2018 season. All options appear to be on the table, including a willingness to move on from some well-known players. However, those thoughts gained a significant amount of traction kicked yesterday when various outlets, including Mike Klis of 9News confirmed that Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib will be on the trading block this offseason.
The idea of trading or cutting a Pro-Bowl player on an extremely friendly contract makes little sense. In fact, it is an idea that is borderline lunacy. Talib is scheduled to make $20 million over the next two seasons, with cap hits of $12 million (2018) and $8 million (2019) respectively. No matter how you slice it, that’s an absolute bargain for the production Talib has given the Broncos since signing his six-year deal in 2014.
It’s not often you sign players who make the type of game-changing impact Talib does on the gridiron. In his four seasons in Denver, he has amassed 50 passes defended, 11 interceptions (six returned for touchdowns) and earned All-Pro honors and has had four consecutive Pro Bowl selections. I’d like to think that many teams around the league would be interested in a player of his caliber for that price, which does lead me to believe that the Broncos should not have trouble finding a suitor for his services.
Wouldn't be surprised to see #Niners go after Talib. They have the assets, the need and the cap space.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 28, 2018
But at what cost? Would the second or third round pick they may get out of any potential deal, coupled with the cap savings be enough to justify the move? I’m not so sure. However, the only way a Talib exodus could be somewhat justifiable is if the cap savings they get are put to good use. That means getting a player at a position of need that could actually offset the significant loss the team would endure with Talib’s exit.
What position would that be? A quarterback — the acquisition of a franchise quarterback. Fans across Broncos Country could likely stomach the departure of Talib if it meant they could acquire a big named free agent like Kirk Cousins at the position who would have an immediate impact on the field. But if those pennies saved aren’t enough to get Cousins and the Broncos have to settle for someone such as Case Keenum (who could probably be beaten out by a rookie quarterback they’d end up drafting high anyways) — would it really be worth it? Hell no.
Dissolving the No Fly Zone by getting rid of its foundation would be bad for business. Furthermore, it would inhibit the team’s ability to compete to the best of their abilities next season. Straight up cutting him would be one of the worst moves the Broncos have made in a long time. How many franchises are in the business of sending top-flight players packing just to save pennies? This isn’t a case of addition by subtraction, it’s actually far from it and road all sorts of crazy the Broncos shouldn’t even venture going down.
If the team wants to rid themselves of several players to gain enough cap space to pursue quality free agents, they should consider others on the team who have not played up to their contracts. Getting rid of one of the league’s best corners just to save a dime in hopes to do something in free agency is a catastrophically bad operation. Moreover, it suggests that a deeper evaluation of what’s going on behind the doors in Dove Valley is needed.
Sorry folks, I just can’t get on board with getting rid one of the best players to wear a Broncos uniform in the past decade. A myriad of options exist in the form of cuts or restructures that would allow Denver to get the money necessary to make some big waves in free agency that don’t involve getting rid of Talib. Let’s hope that those avenues are the ones pursued first, and that the Broncos find a way to keep the No Fly Zone together.