Free agent cornerback Aqib Talib is returning to the New England Patriots, agreeing to terms on Saturday to a one-year contract, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Talib's deal is worth $5 million.
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at last season's trade deadline, Talib started five of six games after completing a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing substances. In six regular season games in New England, the 6-foot-1, 202-pound corner totaled 19 tackles and one interception, which he returned 59 yards for a touchdown during a 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots ranked 29th against the pass in 2012, but the addition of Talib on the perimeter helped the secondary allow fewer big plays.
Talib had 10 tackles in a divisional playoff win over the Houston Texans before suffering a leg injury early in the Patriots' 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game. Losing Talib proved costly for hte Patriots' defense as Joe Flacco would go on to pass for 240 yards and three touchdowns to advance the Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII.
Talib's injury history, off-field adventures and a flooded cornerback market likely prevented him from securing an acceptable multi-year offer this offseason. If Talib stays healthy and helps the Patriots' pass defense improve over last season, a better deal could be available next offseason.
By re-signing Talib, the Patriots are bringing both of their cornerbacks for the 2013 season. On Friday, the Patriots re-signed Kyle Arrington to a four-year contract and agreed to terms with veteran safety Adrian Wilson, a 33-year-old former Pro Bowler with the Arizona Cardinals who is best utilized near the line of scrimmage.
Originally selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Talib has 19 interceptions, four of which he's returned for touchdowns, and 56 passes defensed in 64 games over the last five seasons.
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