Talib’s contract with Denver raises bar for Haden extension in Cleveland

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As the Denver Broncos back up the truck in attempt to topple Father Time, they decided to use the first day of the 2014 NFL free agency window to dump a ton of money into their defensive backfield. While they added TJ Ward, prying the hard-hitting safety from the claws of Browns fans, the deal that may ultimately impact Cleveland more is the six-year, $57 million contract given to cornerback Aqib Talib, $26 million of which is guaranteed.

When he’s not getting abused by Josh Gordon, Talib has turned a career of off-field issues into one that features him as one of the better press-coverage cornerbacks in football. For his efforts, Talib was seeking a deal worth between $9-10 million per season—and he got just that.

Earlier this offseason, WFNY estimated that Haden would draw somewhere in that $10 million range, placing him above other recently signed cornerbacks like Dallas’ Brandon Carr and Kansas City’s Brandon Flowers. Sportrac’s recent forecast pegged Haden as drawing a four-year, $35 million deal which, following Tuesday afternoon, could (rightfully) be laughed out of the room save for any sort of hometown discount.

Talib, the new benchmark for cornerback contracts, finished 2013 as Pro Football Focus’ 58th-best back, largely a product of his run defense and penchant to not draw penalty flags. Joe Haden finished 18th, one season after finishing in the top 20.

[Related: NFL Free Agency Notebook: First Impressions]

Image: Candice Vlcek/WFNY

  • maxfnmloans

    about a month or so ago, I think I blurted out 5 yr/ 56 mil with 28 mil guaranteed. Now Im thinking my hare-brained, off the cuff remark may not have been too far off

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    I would hope the Browns could get six years for that, but no—that’s definitely the ballpark.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    6 years, $60M, 27M guaranteed? Maybe a bit less but bonuses for Pro Bowls and the like?

    Biggest aspect is that now there’s a baseline they can get to negotiating.

  • Ken3580

    Gee, you can be the best doctor or engineer in the world, with the lives of thousands in your hands over a few years, and you don’t make near that much. But knocking down a pass? Hey, that’s worth millions!! Lawyers get paid a lot too, but that’s only because when people really need them, they really need them. It’s kind of like a plumber. When you need him because the toilet’s backed up, you pay his price just to get all the dung to flow away.

  • mgbode

    lives of thousands in your hands over a few years

    entertainers have the joy of millions (even billions potentially) in their clutches, so what is your point?

  • mgbode

    with the cap going up as is rumored, I don’t think it’d be a bad deal at all.

  • mgbode

    I think you are a bit low, but that can be the Browns starting point, sure.