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Peter King on M&M: Aqib Talib a better option than Darrelle Revis for Patriots

03.03.14 at 2:40 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated writer Peter King joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk about the possibility of Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis being on the move, Aqib Talib and his future, and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

With rumors that the Patriots and Broncos are interested in trading for Revis, King said the biggest hurdle is money.

“I think that you have to restructure his contract if you’re the Patriots,” King said. “€œAnd that’s, to me, I think one of the issues that you start with when you start asking about whether you want a guy, is you have to find out, OK what exactly is that guy going to cost?”

Added King: “In essence Tom Brady, last year, his cap number was about [$]13.8 [million]. It’€™s going to go up a million bucks this year. It’€™ll be about 14.8. It’€™ll never be, under his current deal, his money will never be what Revis’ money is. So you have to ask yourself, ‘Are we going to bring somebody in that’€™s going to make more money than Tom Brady?’ ”

King favors keeping Talib over Revis due to his familiarity with the system plus the cost of a draft pick.

“€œIf you’re able to sign Talib, who’s a proven player in your system, for less,” King said, “€œI would, and you get to keep, say, your number one either this year or next year, I know that’s something I would prefer to do.”

Cornerback Brent Grimes signed a four-year, $32 million extension on Monday with the Dolphins. King points out that Talib is younger and healthier than Grimes, but has more off-field issues.

“€œIf I’m Aqib Talib, I’m saying, as a player, I’m worth a little bit more than Brent Grimes,” King said. “The only issue then becomes, well, what about the problems you’ve had off the field that Brent Grimes hasn’t had. So, I think it could counterbalance itself, but that’s why I think if I’m talking about Aqib Talib, I’m talking not very long term and about 8 or 9 million [dollars] a year, I think that would be fair.”

King sees the franchise tag as a realistic option for the Patriots and Talib to ensure he stays with the team.

“You would have to look at whether you believe, out there right now, there are suitors for Aqib Talib,” King said. “€œAnd whether if Aqib Talib hits the open market, you’ve got a better chance, better than say 40 or 50 percent chance, to lose him. That’s why I don’€™t really mind franchising him. I think the number is like [$]11.8 million. I don’€™t mind franchising him for that number for a very simple reason that you’d be able to sleep a little better at night knowing that you give him the franchise tag and it’s likely that then you try to work out a deal with him, maybe for a three-year deal and maybe a little bit more guaranteed money than [$]11 million, and it would make sense for both sides to do.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On if the Patriots might cut Vince Wilfork: “That is a really tough one from this standpoint: There is a lot of feeling between Wilfork and the Patriots, particularly Bob Kraft is exceedingly close to Wilfork. They’ve gotten along really, really well. The one thing I would ask about Wilfork, because this is something that we don’t know: Wilfork has been fairly durable during his career. It looks like he should miss a lot of time, as an older player and as heavy as he is. And it looks like now would be the time he’d really start missing games. But until last year, he really didn’t miss many games. He was really pretty durable.

“So, if you’re asking me if I want to pay Vince Wilfork [$7.5 million] — because really, his dead money is about [$3 million or $3.5 million], so you’re going to have that on your tab anyway. So if you say, OK, his cap number is whatever, [$11.5 million], and his dead money is that, it means that basically the difference is about $8 million. You have to ask yourself if you believe that Vince Wilfork to your franchise — this year, your team — his value is 8 million bucks. That’s what I would be asking myself. And you know, I think it probably is. But again, I’m not Tom Gill, I’m not examining this guy and I don’t know currently how healthy he is. You’d have to talk to your doctor and you’d have to be able to trust that Vince Wilfork is going to give you somewhere between 12, 13 quality starts or quality games for your team this year.”

On a report that the Patriots are shopping Danny Amendola: “I would only talk about that if I were positive that I was getting Julian Edelman back. If either Amendola or Edelman’s healthy, that guy can work the middle of the field, he’s quick enough to get open a lot. Both those guys are able to do that. I would not want to leave Tom Brady without both guys. So, that would be first thought about it.

“Second thought is, there’s a chance that the Patriots have determined that, OK, this guy is just too brittle. I don’t know whether they have. But if they have determined that, then Bill Belichick has never been shy about making a decision that isn’t going to popular publicly. ‘€¦ It would surprise me if that happened. But again, we don’t know, because he doesn’t broadcast it. And there are very few people who really know what Bill Belichick is thinking.”

On younger African-American players using the N-word as a term of endearment and resisting the NFL’s proposed rule to penalize those who use it during games: “That, to me, is where there is a gigantic cultural divide. It’s not only a cultural divide between black and white, it’s a cultural divide between older black and players and the players of today.

Read More: Aqib Talib, Danny Amendola, Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots
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