Five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib has retired from the age of 34 despite having an offer on the table from the New England Patriots. Talib, who was taken in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, went on to have a successful NFL career.
Besides five Pro Bowl appearances, Talib also made the First-team All-Pro in 2016 and captured a Super Bowl while he was with the Denver Broncos. In October 2019, Talib was traded to the Miami Dolphins but he never played a game for the team as he was recovering from an injury.
"Aqib Talib is officially retired," he said in an interview released on social media. Talib wasn't ready to retire and his intention was to play if someone was willing to give him a deal. The Patriots called his number but Talib politely rejected the offer and called it a career.
"I told myself personally, I need to play one more year, so as long as somebody gives me a nice check -- of course I'm coming," he said. "Or, if somebody gave me a nice role. My guy, my big homie, Bill Belichick called my phone and told me he had the role of a lifetime for me.
He really wanted me to come in and strap tight ends.
Talib could have gotten a good deal from the Patriots
Talib, who was one of the best cornerbacks over the past decade, could have received a $5-6 million deal from the Patriots.
But Talib is aware that his best days are behind him and he didn't want to play below his standard. "I was halfway out the door. I got flights and started finding apartments, Talib added. I could've gotten up to five or six million [dollars] -- a nice contract.
... But I started going through that schedule. I saw [George] Kittle, [Travis] Kelce, [Darren] Waller, and normally when I go to a new team, my thoughts are all positive. ... This time, I looked at this f-----g schedule, and I thought, 'Can I even strap these damn tight ends?' "I said it's over with.
Once that thought crossed my mind, my heart and competitive edge just aren't in it like that anymore. [Plus] you turn 34 and you lose a step. You don't move the same way you used to move, so I just wasn't feeling it anymore. You have to play this game with heart."