DENVER (CBS4) – Aqib Talib sent out his thanks to the Mile High City on Friday, a day after reports surfaced that the Broncos agreed to trade the star cornerback to the Los Angeles Rams.
In a tweet, he wrote:
“Broncoscountry! Thank you! I have enjoyed every minute of playing with you guys. My Brothers! Thank you! I definitely will miss that one of a kind locker room. I have made lifelong friends and gained a ton of knowledge during my time in Denver. So many memories were made over the past 4 years, Super Bowl 50 being our best. Thank you John Elway for believing in me, sticking up for me, and putting me in a great position to start the final chapter of my NFL career. Denver will always have a place in my heart! No Fly Zone will go down in history! Thank you!”
The Broncos will reportedly get a mid-round pick — possibly a fifth rounder — from the Rams.
Talib had an eventful four seasons in Denver, both on and off the field. He missed the Broncos’ visit with former President Barack Obama to celebrate their Super Bowl 50 triumph after accidentally shooting himself in the leg during a night of partying only to come back to have an All-Pro season in 2016. He was suspended for one game for fighting Michael Crabtree last season.
None of that is why the Broncos are moving on from Talib.
They needed to clear both salary cap space and room for rising cornerback Bradley Roby, who’s getting a big pay raise from about $1 million in 2017 to $8.526 million this year in the final season of his rookie contract.
On Thursday, the Broncos also picked up cornerback Chris Harris Jr.’s $1 million option, guaranteeing his 2018 salary of about $7.5 million. He’ll cost them $10.26 million against the cap in 2018.
By trading Talib, who’s due $11 million this season and $8 million next year, the Broncos will have about $35 million in salary cap space to pursue free agents, including quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Talib’s departure further breaks up the “No Fly Zone” secondary that saw its first departure last fall when the Broncos cut safety T.J. Ward so they could play second-year safety Justin Simmons more.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)