Tuesday, April 23, 2024

‘ManningCast’: Why Aqib Talib turned down Bill Belichick’s offer for Patriots reunion in 2020

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Aqib Talib entered a different portion of the NFL world last fall when he ventured into broadcasting, retiring from the game after 12 seasons as a player. Talib joined Peyton and Eli Manning on the “ManningCast” during the “Monday Night Football” showdown between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills — reminiscing on his days as a player in the league. 

Before Talib joined Fox as a color commentator in 2020, he had an opportunity to play one more season in the NFL with the Patriots — reuniting with Belichick after spending a season-and-a-half with the franchise in 2012 and 2013. Talib never won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, and Belichick gave him an enticing offer. 

“I thought about it, but when I talked to Bill he kid of told me what my role would be,” Talib told Peyton. “you’re going to be my tight end stopper, so I need you to stop their tight ends. He told me how much money I would make and I was like ‘I’ll call you right back Bill.’

“I weigh my options and I see (Travis) Kelce, I see (Darren) Waller, I see Gronk (Rob Gronkowski). I go ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa Bill. This isn’t a regular tight end stopper. I got the best tight ends in the league on the schedule!’ 

“I had to politely decline. I ain’t gonna lie. I didn’t want no smoke with them guys. I’m too old, too hurt, too injured.” 

The 35-year-old Talib ventured into the broadcasting world instead and is in his second season with Fox. Talib played just 13 games over the previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, so he had more than a valid point. 

Talib doesn’t regret passing on another opportunity to play in the NFL, even if returning to the league with Belichick was enticing enough to contemplate the offer. 

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