Veteran cornerback Aqib Talib, saying he turned down one last NFL offer from the New England Patriots because he wasn’t “feeling it,” has announced his retirement.
“Aqib Talib is officially retired, and I’m bringing my talents to the booth,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “Football gave me so much in life.”
Talib, who turned 34 in February, is coming off a lost 2019 season in which an October rib injury limited him to just five games with the Los Angeles Rams and landed him on injured reserve. He was traded to the Miami Dolphins in late October in what amounted to a salary-cap dump, with the Dolphins getting a fifth-round pick for taking on the remaining $4.2 million on Talib’s deal.
The veteran cornerback never reported to or played for Miami
Talib told “Call to the Booth,” a podcast he is starting, that he had hoped to play one more season as long as “somebody gave me a nice check.” He said Patriots coach Bill Belichick called him about “the role of a lifetime.” However, after looking over the schedule and seeing the tight ends he might be covering — Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Darren Waller — Talib said he told himself that “it’s over with.”
“Once that negative thought crossed my mind, I was like, my heart, my competitive edge … like, I ain’t really in it like that no more,” Talib said in the video. “… I just wasn’t feeling it no more, honestly.”
Talib has been known as a ball hawk since he was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2008 draft. He’s a five-time Pro Bowler with 35 career interceptions (tied for first among active players) and 10 pick-sixes (most among active players and fourth all time).
He also has played for the Patriots and the Denver Broncos, with whom he won a Super Bowl after the 2015 season.
In five games in 2019, Talib had two pass deflections and seven tackles while playing in a secondary that had underwhelming results before the team engaged in a series of trades after Week 6.
ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe contributed to this report.