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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos trade cornerback Aqib Talib to the Rams

Mar 8, 2018 at 5:02 PM--

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The Los Angeles Rams added a starting cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters, whose trade from the Kansas City Chiefs becomes official at the start of the new league year on March 14. According to NFL Network, the Rams have also traded for Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, which arguably creates one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers were reportedly interested in trading for Talib. However, ESPN reported that the deal was unlikely to get completed with Talib wanting to be released and choose his destination.

Talib is familiar with the Rams defense. He played on defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' Broncos defense in 2015 and 2016. Phillips has the same role with the Rams.

Mike Klis of KUSA first reported that the Broncos were expected to put Talib on the trading block due to his salary. The star cornerback has two years left on his contract with salaries of $11 million in 2018 and $8 million in 2019.

Talib, who was selected for his fifth-straight Pro Bowl this season, had 31 combined tackles, seven passes defensed, and an interception returned for a touchdown in 2017. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2016.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Talib the 20th overall pick in the 2008 draft. In 2012, he was traded to the New England Patriots following a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Talib signed a six-year, $57 million contract with the Broncos in 2014 and contributed to the team's Super Bowl 50 run a season later.

Over his 10 NFL seasons, Talib has registered 425 combined tackles, 34 interceptions, 118 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, and a quarterback sack. He has started at least 15 regular-season games in three of his four seasons with Denver.

Meanwhile, the 49ers are still looking to upgrade the cornerback position. They have promising young talent in Ahkello Witherspoon, who started just nine games as a rookie in 2017. Opposite Witherspoon last season was Dontae Johnson, whose play has been erratic. Johnson, who is scheduled to become a free agent next week, was benched twice late last year.

Free agency begins on March 14. NFL teams can start contract discussions with agents on March 12.

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