Aqib Talib speaks to reporters Tuesday at Patriots OTAs. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)
FOXBORO — When the Patriots season ended with a loss to the Ravens in the AFC championship last January, there was some doubt the day after whether Aqib Talib would be back in a Patriots uniform.
Talib told reporters the Monday after the AFC title game loss that he would let the business side run its course.
After signing a one-year deal for $5 million – a bargain to the Patriots – on March 16, Talib has decided that his business will be in Foxboro. On Tuesday, Talib took part in his second day of OTAs with the team and spoke publicly about his deal for the first time.
“I just let it play how it played,” Talib said Tuesday when asked why he decided to come back to the Patriots. “I just let it play how it played. I wanted to be back, I’m back. I’m happy to be here, ready to get to work.”
Talib’s deal included a $3 million signing bonus and a base salary of $1.575 million, which is fully guaranteed.
“It’s a great organization, great team, great teammates,” he said. “It’s just a time right now, what’s this month, May? It’s time to get in shape. That’s all we’re worried about right now, that’s all I’m worried about. Getting in good shape, best shape I can be in. Double-shirts, out here trying to get as hot as possible, get a good sweat and get in good shape.”
Getting in good shape is something of a theme this week as Kyle Love was let go last week and Love said it was because the Patriots felt he was out of shape. In January, Talib injured his thigh in the first quarter and was unable to return as the Ravens found their offensive groove without him on the field and advanced to the Super Bowl.
“Right now we’re just working on getting in good shape, getting the basics of the defense and the offense down,” Talib said. “We’re working right now.
“We get in good shape and you get the basics of the defense down. Before you start game-planning for anybody, you’ve got to have the basics of your defense down, and that’s what we’re getting down right now.”
This figures to be a huge year for Talib as he looks again for that big contract. He’ll have the advantage this year of starting from scratch with the Patriots. The 27-year-old cover corner got some work in on Tuesday covering Danny Amendola during OTA drills in shorts.
“It’s always good to have the whole off-season, the whole training camp with the same group, build that camaraderie,” Talib said. “Learn how each other speaks on the field, our terminology. That’s always good.
“It’s another opportunity to get better.”