The Broncos are moving on from Aqib Talib after agreeing to trade their star corner to the Rams in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
Talib will be fondly remembered in Denver as a key member of their infamous 'No Fly Zone', the backbone of the elite defense that led them to victory in Super Bowl 50.
The five-time Pro Bowler will reunite with the mastermind of that defense in LA, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the deal first, and noted that Talib only wanted to go to two teams.
"For Talib, there were really only two places he wanted to go," Rapoport said on NFL Total Access. "New England, where of course he had a lot of success with Bill Belichick and Los Angeles with the Rams, where he would get to play under Wade Phillips"
Though Talib is 32, he's played some of his best football over the past few seasons, making four Pro Bowls in his five years in Denver. His football intelligence and ball hawking abilities are still elite, and have made him an integral cog in a Broncos pass defense that has ranked in the top five in the NFL three years in a row.
The Rams are getting a productive, aggressive player to pair with another star free agent addition in Marcus Peters. The duo are much alike in their playing style and alpha attitude, and will form arguably the best corner pairing in the league in 2018.
Rams GM Les Snead is arming Wade Phillips with elite defenders, clearly in an effort to make a championship run, and it will be highly entertaining to see the packages he dials up with the plethora of talent available to him.
In addition to Peters and Talib, Snead has also managed to snag former Packers Pro Bowl cornerback Sam Shields. Though Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree and probably Trumaine Johnson will leave the team, the talent they've added sets them up well to improve defensively in 2018, particular in a division suddenly loaded with quarterback talent.
Talib's 32 picks since he was drafted in 2008 are the most amongst active cornerbacks while Peters leads the league in interceptions over the past three years with 19.
Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo and co will not be looking forward to throwing towards any of the new cover men in LA!
For Denver, Talib's contract was simply too much to keep on. He was set to make $11million in 2018 and with a talented young corner in Bradley Roby waiting in the wings, and money to throw at a free agent quarterback, the move makes sense for John Elway.
Roby and Chris Harris Jr will still form one of the top corner duos in football, at much less cost though.
Talib clearly enjoyed his time in Denver and took to Instagram to express his thanks to the organisation and it's fans.
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