New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft is reluctant to devote a significant portion of his franchise's 2014 salary cap to Aqib Talib, given the injury-prone cornerback's questionable fitness record, reports NFL.com.
The 27-year-old was restricted to a limited number of appearances during the second half of the season, due to a recurring hip problem.
Talib only signed a one-year contract worth $5million at the Gillette Stadium in 2013, which proved to be something of a bargain for Bill Belichick's team.
However, with the player's value increasing, Kraft is eager not to overspend in his attempts to retain Talib's services next season, even after securing him for a bargain this campaign.
"Well we want to retain all the good players we can retain," Kraft said last Friday on WBZ-AM, via CSN New England's Tom Curran. "It's not like we have unlimited funding so ... He wasn't on the field a lot of the time since he's been with us.
"It's a balance of us balancing all that out and what is he worth. I think he's happy here and would like to be here and we're happy with him and we'd like to have him here and now it's just about doing business."
Failure to earn a new deal with the Patriots between now and March, and Talib might be forced to establish his value on the open market for a second consecutive offseason.