John Elway and the Denver Broncos were intent on moving Aqib Talib this offseason. They need the cap space to go after Kirk Cousins or some other expensive Plan B option and the decision was obviously already made. Last week, they reportedly had a deal in place with the San Francisco 49ers, but Talib let everyone know he had no intention of reporting to his new team. The trade fell through.
However, the actual team Talib wanted to play for was the team he started 2018 out with. Telling James Palmer of NFL Network that he “definitely” wanted to remain a Bronco.
“Oh definitely, definitely,” Talib said. “I had established real friendships there. Like you said, Robe, Chris — they’re my guys. Von, Stew. I established real friends there, man. Even Joe Woods. We had a nice relationship. You never just want to go. It wasn’t an issue where I wanted to get out of there. There’s no reason to want to get out of there. That’s a great organization. But it’s a business. We had too much talent on the backend, you know what I’m say? We got Roby, Chris, myself — it’s too many of us man, so somebody has to go and they’re going to keep that young talent. That’s how the business goes. You keep that young talent and the old guy gotta go somewhere, so I’m just glad it was L.A.”
Talib alluded that the decision had nothing to do with his desire to leave. He understood the Broncos needed to clear some cap space and he was the “aging veteran” at that position.
The No Fly Zone has officially broken up. The first domino to fall was T.J. Ward, now Talib. The greatest secondary in Broncos history is no more.
“It’s in the books now, man,” Talib said of the No Fly Zone. They won a Super Bowl together, something few dominant defenses in NFL history can say.
Talib was a great Broncos and a Ring of Fame worthy talent for what he did in Denver. In four years, he was consistently one of the top rated cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus and amassed 11 total interceptions and a whooping six pick sixes. Six!
You’ll be missed in Denver, Aqib. Best of luck!