By Jared Dubin, CBS Sports Writer
DENVER (CBS Sports) – Aqib Talib played for the Denver Broncos for four years. During that time, he made four consecutive Pro Bowls, was named a first-team All-Pro once, and won a Super Bowl.
One of the best cornerbacks in the league during that time, he held opposing passers to a 58.2 completion percentage on throws in his direction, per Pro Football Focus, limiting them to 6.4 yards per attempt while yielding 11 touchdowns and coming away with 11 interceptions. It all worked out to a passer rating of just 74.5. In other words, he turned basically every quarterback into Ty Detmer. And he did it all while wearing No. 21.
The Broncos traded Talib to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this offseason, freeing up No. 21 for somebody else to wear. Whereas most teams might let the number sit for a while after such an important contributor leaves the team, the Broncos are, well, not doing that. Recent signing Tramaine Brock is being given the No. 21 jersey this year.
How does Talib feel about that? As you might expect…
It would be one thing if Brock had also worn No. 21 throughout his career and was just continuing that practice, but he wore No. 26 during his seven years with the 49ers and No. 24 last season with the Vikings. No. 26 is taken by safety Darian Stewart, but No. 24 is freely available. It’s not that difficult to understand why Talib might be a bit miffed; then again, if the number isn’t going to be retired, then why shouldn’t someone else be able to wear it, even mere weeks after Talib has moved on?