The New England Patriots have engaged the Denver Broncos in talks to acquire cornerback Aqib Talib, who has declared his intention to play for coach Bill Belichick rather than be traded to the San Francisco 49ers. According to Mike Klis of KUSA-TV, the Patriots are one of several teams that have engaged the Broncos in trade talks for Talib. However, the Patriots have the advantage since Talib declared that he wants to return to New England, where he played for almost two seasons before signing with the Broncos in 2014. Also, Klis said that Talib, despite having no no-trade clause in his contract, is showing just enough resistance to have a say in where he is traded.

Klis added that the Broncos might trade or release Talib before the start of free agency next week. If they release Talib, the Broncos will create an additional $11 million in cap space.

49ers also eyeing Talib

Earlier, it was reported that the Broncos and the 49ers have gained ground on a trade for the 32-year-old Talib, but the cornerback resisted the deal and expressed his intention to return to the Patriots. Talib spent part of the 2012 season and the whole of 2013 season with the Patriots before joining the Broncos in 2014. A first-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2008, Talib played for the Buccaneers for five seasons. Talib has 34 career interceptions. If the Patriots acquire Talib, they will have one of the best cornerback duos in the league as he will be paired with Stephon Gilmore.

The Patriots are also eyeing the services of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who is expected to be released by the team anytime. If Sherman joins the Patriots, Belichick will have one of the best defensive backfield in the league. Last season, the Patriots inquired about the availability of Sherman, but the Seahawks were not interested in a trade.

In past interview, Sherman expressed interest in playing for the Patriots.

Patriots release Reedy

In another move, the Patriots released wide receiver/returner Bernard Reedy, who returned four punts for 32 yards in two games in the last season. Reedy signed with the Patriots practice squad on November 22 before he was promoted to the 53-man roster on December 2.

The Patriots waived him on December 13, but they signed him to the practice squad again. On January 3, Reedy was released, but he returned to the Patriots active roster on January 17. He was included in the Patriots’ 53-man roster for Super Bowl LII. Aside from Reedy, the Patriots waived defensive end Caleb Kidder and tight end Martellus Bennett. The Patriots currently have 60 players on their roster.