Owner Bob Kraft realizes he will have to shell out more money to keep Talib in March, but he doesn't sound keen on devoting a significant portion of the salary cap to an injury-prone cornerback.
"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," Kraft continued. "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."
It's not unusual for an organization to attempt to drive a player's price tag down via public comments. In this case, Kraft has a fair point.
Talib was forced to settle for a one-year contract last offseason because teams were wary of character issues and a suspension risk. Although he managed to stay out of trouble and earned Charles Woodson's praise as the NFL's top shutdown corner in the first half of the season, a recurring hip injury limited his effectiveness down the stretch.
Talib's preference is to remain in New England, where his NFL career took off. If his asking price reaches the range of $7 million to $8 million per year, the Patriots might just let him establish his value on the open market for a second consecutive offseason.