Friday, February 14, 2014 Should the Patriots re-sign cornerback Aqib Talib or find a replacement

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The New England Patriots face a number of questions in the off-season and one big question revolves around the secondary. Cornerback Aqib Talib is a free agent and New England must decide whether to bring him back or let him walk.  Even letting him walk, there is the decision if New England needs to find a shut-down cornerback in free agency to take his place or hand the job to young cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Alfonzo Dennard. With his injury history in New England, is it smart for the Patriots to bring back Talib or find another option at cornerback for 2014?

Cornerback Aqib Talib is a key free agent this off-season and the Patriots have a hard decision as to whether they re-sign him. On one hand, when healthy he proved to be a catalyst to the defense that bumped them from very good to elite.  Even with his hip injury the past two seasons, his presence alone on defense seems to make the secondary stronger just by being able to keep fellow cornerback Alfonzo Dennard in the number two role outside and cornerback Kyle Arrington inside on the slot receiver where he thrives.

As shown numerous times over the past season-and-a-half with Talib in New England, when he is unable to play the defense struggles. This season against Denver in the AFC Championship Game with Talib for the first two drives the Broncos were held to a field goal and their only punt of the game. Once Talib was knocked out of the game with the knee injury from the pick by Denver wide receiver Wes Welker the Broncos feasted on Dennard and rookie Logan Ryan in the secondary.

It was eerily similar to the AFC Championship Game the year before against Baltimore where the Ravens did not score a point until Talib left the game injured. Once he was out and the secondary was disrupted quarterback Joe Flacco began attacking the secondary downfield.

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