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Despite Bill Belichick's best efforts, Aquib Talib announces retirement from the NFL

Ryan Young
·Writer
·3 min read
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Not even New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick could convince Aqib Talib to suit up for another season this fall.

Talib officially announced his retirement from the league on social media on Wednesday, ending his 12-season career.

Talib played in the league from 2008-2019. He was selected with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he spent his first four seasons. He was traded to New England midway through the 2012 season, and remained there for a year before making the jump to Denver for a four-year stint — where he helped lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl win in 2016.

Talib spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, though he was placed on the injured reserve list both years with an ankle and rib injury.

Bill Belichick called Talib

Talib said that Belichick called him and tried to get him to come play one final season with the Patriots — something he nearly did.

“My guy, my big homie Bill Belichick called my phone ... told me that he had the role of a lifetime for me,” Talib said. “He really wanted me to strap right ends. I was halfway out the door. I got flights. I started finding apartments ... I could’ve gotten up to $5-6 million – a nice vet contract. I could make $6 million and guard tight ends all day.”

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib
Bill Belichick tried his best to bring him back, but Aqib Talib opted to officially retire after 12 years in the league on Wednesday. (AP/David Dermer)

The five-time Pro Bowler could have been a nice addition to the Patriots defense. And given the fact that he spent a season and a half under Belichick earlier in his career, the transition would have been an easier one for him to make.

While it sounded nice initially, the 34-year-old’s opinion on playing again quickly changed.

He soon realized that his time in the league was done.

"Then I start going through their schedule. I kinda see [George] Kittle, [Travis] Kelce and [Darren] Waller,” Talib said. “Usually when I get in this position, I’m going to a new team, my thoughts are all positive … I kind of run down all positive thoughts.

“ This time, I look at this f---ing schedule, and the thought – I said, ‘Can I even strap these tight ends?’ I said, ‘Ah s--t. It’s over with.’ Once I said that, once that negative thought crossed my mind, my heart, my competitive edge, like, I’m not really in it like that no more.”

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