Money Talks—and Walks
PETER KING: So, you go from Tom Brady's team to Peyton Manning's team. Did you have an offer from New England that tempted you to stay?
AQIB TALIB: I definitely had an offer from the Patriots. But there was language in there that definitely was a little shaky compared to Denver's offer. The Patriots are a great organization. I loved my time there. I loved playing for Bill. He's a great leader. I'll be able to tell my kids I played for Bill Belichick someday and I was Tom Brady's teammate. Really, it's just a dream I'm experiencing, when two great organizations want you like this.
KING: Your contract is basically for about $9 million a year (six years, $54 million), but as with most contracts, it'll be pretty easy for Denver to get out of it after three years. Does that concern you, that you might not play this all the way out?
TALIB: I don't really get into that part of the business too much, how much of a contract is guaranteed and whether I'll make it all the way through. I hope I stay here for six years. Hopefully I see all six years, because that means I'm playing well. But for me, I just come and play as hard as I can. It's the same for me, thinking about this season, as it was last year, when I was in the last year of my contract. As a player, I don't think you can worry about that too much.
KING: This seems like the first year the CBA—which is now three years old—is paying off for a lot of the players. What do all these big-money signings say to you about the labor agreement?
TALIB: Now we're seeing the good part of this CBA. You can see the CBA is working well for the players right now. The first couple of years, there were other things about the deal the players liked—the limited padded practices, training camp being easier on the players, players having more of an offseason. But now the cash part of the CBA is coming into view, and it's good to see. I don't know the exact rules, but when the cap goes up now, the owners have to spend more of the cap money than they did before. [Collectively, NFL teams must spend 95% of available cap money between 2013 and 2016, or the players’ association can take the unspent amount and distribute it to players.] I think the league is better off when the players are getting rewarded like this.