Talib says Belichick let him off the hook after training camp scuffle


Talib says Belichick let him off the hook after training camp scuffle

Aqib Talib hasn't played in New England since 2013, but he's as quotable a former Patriot as there is in the league. That means when he's on record, we're usually listening -- especially when the questions have to do with Talib's time in New England. 

As the Broncos cornerback ran through ESPN's "car wash" on Monday, he was asked several questions about the Patriots, and he took time to tell one particular story about Bill Belichick while visiting the Dan LeBetard Show.

It centered around a scuffle that Talib was involved in during joint training camp practices between the Patriots and Buccaneers back in 2013.

"One time the Buccaneers came to practice with us, and Bill made it clear that if anybody get in any fights, that he's sending you in the locker room. He ain't gonna have it," Talib said. "We got to doing special teams, man, and somebody was kind of being a little extra rough with one of my guys, so I kinda went and handled the situation, sling him around a little bit.

"I was ready to get sent in the locker room, and I kind of looked at Bill and Bill had a little smirk on his face like 'Yeah that's why I brought him. That's why I brought him here. Yeah.' That was a good story. I always tell that story. Bill did not send me in, though. He let me play all day."

Talib, who was in his first training camp with the Patriots at the time, was asked if he thought he was given an exemption from the fighting rule for some reason.

"I guess he might've been talking to, like, the young players, man," Talib said. " 'We don't got time for these young guys out here cat fighting. If you're gonna fight, man, it better be 'Qib or something.' That's what Bill was talking about."

Talib also got some face time on ESPN's SportsCenter and First Take, where he answered a few questions about his former team.

On beating the Patriots in the AFC title game: "It's great man. Not just your former team, a powerhouse like that. To beat those guys two times in a row and the second time being to go to the big game, it's an incredible feeling, man. It's an accomplishment-type of feeling."

On if his knowledge of the Patriots offense helped the Broncos: "Having an idea of how they're going to attack us [helped]. Like, throughout the week we're like, 'Are they gonna come out in 11 [personnel] all day or are they gonna come out in 12 [personnel]? How are they going to attack us? I'm in the locker room, like, 'Man, they're going to do this. This is what they're going to do. I know Bill. I know Tom and them. This is how they're going to play us.'

"It played a little part in how [defensive backs coach] Joe Woods and [defensive coordinator] Wade [Phillips] kind of made our script. They asked me and Chris [Harris] because we watch a lot of film . . . 'How you think they're gonna attack us, man? What should we really get ready for?' I said 12 personnel, 11 personnel, mostly 12, and that's kind of what they did."

On choosing Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning: "That's a tough one, man. That's a tough one . . . Their preparation, how they approach the game, I've seen both of them. Just seeing that, seeing their productiviy on the field, it's kind of hard to pick, but if I had to pick, I'm going to pick the guy I won the Super Bowl with. I never won the Super Bowl with Tom. I had a great time over there playing with him. He was amazing to watch. Same with Peyton. But I won the Super Bowl with Peyton."

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

The New England Patriots just got whole lot of financial breathing room.

The Patriots have earned a total of $6.25 million in settlements from compensation grievances involving former wide receiver Antonio Brown and ex-tight end Aaron Hernandez, ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported Saturday.

New England now has $7.79 million in cap space, per Reiss and Yates, a huge bump from the less than $500,000 in spending money the team had earlier this week.

Brown, who spent less than two weeks with the Patriots last September, filed a grievance against the team in October 2019 following his release seeking to receive his unpaid Week 1 salary, his $1.025 million guaranteed base salary and his $9 million signing bonus.

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The Patriots will pay Brown $5 million as part of the settlement, per Reiss and Yates.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Patriots on Hernandez's behalf in October 2013 seeking over $6 million in guaranteed salary. Hernandez was arrested and later convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and died in prison in April 2017.

New England was up against the cap after squeezing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton in on a one-year contract and inking all of its 2020 NFL Draft picks to rookie deals. With nearly $8 million in cap space, however, the Patriots have more flexibility to bolster their roster via free agency or trade.

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran suggested tight end David Njoku could be a strong fit in New England after requesting a trade from the Cleveland Browns, and there are a number of quality free agents still on the market, as well.

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Twelve days ago, Cam Newton was still a free agent looking for work.

But ever since he agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, he's been very busy trying to get ready for the 2020 season, learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his new receivers.

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In addition to N'Keal Harry, whose workout with Newton was captured on video, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi was also catching passes from New England's new quarterback. Twitter user amirmehrtash15 took pictures with both Asiasi and Newton at the UCLA practice session and posted them in reponse to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels.

The workout wasn't limited to Patriots, as Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was also in attendance.

Newton trying to fast-track a relationship with his new teammates makes perfect sense. He set up his first practice with Mohamed Sanu on the day he signed his Patriots contract, and in less than two weeks, he's already connected with three of the guys who will be among his top receiving options in 2020.

The Patriots certainly hope all that extra work pays off, as training camps could open as soon as the end of this month once the NFL and NFLPA can finalize preseason dates.