Aqib Talib is reuniting with Wade Phillips in Los Angeles after the Denver Broncos agreed to trade the star cornerback to the Rams Lawrence Taylor Jersey , a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The Rams will send Denver a mid-round pick, believed to be a fifth-rounder, in next month’s draft for the perennial Pro Bowl cornerback, said the person, who spoke off the record because the trade isn’t official until the start of the new league year Wednesday.
”Man, I’m so excited,” Talib told The Associated Press from Dallas on Thursday night. ”I can’t wait to play for Coach Sean McVay, go back with working with Wade, and playing with my young man, Marcus Peters. He’s going to bring that young energy back to me.
”I’m super excited to play with those guys. Aaron Donald is a good friend of mine, too, so I get to go from playing behind Von Miller to playing behind Aaron Donald. That’s not too shabby. I got another MVP in front of me.”
The NFL Network first reported the agreement. The Broncos had been in talks with the Patriots, 49ers and Rams about Talib, who signed a six-year Giants Kyle Lauletta Jersey , $57 million deal in Denver in 2014, part of a defensive makeover that carried the team to the Super Bowl title two years ago.
In Los Angeles, Talib will reunite with Phillips, who was his defensive coordinator in Denver until last year, and will play alongside a fellow star defensive back in Peters, whom the Rams are acquiring from Kansas City .
Talib had an eventful four seasons in Denver, both on and off the field. He missed the Broncos’ visit with former President Barack Obama to celebrate their Super Bowl 50 triumph after accidentally shooting himself in the leg during a night of partying only to come back to have an All-Pro season in 2016. He was suspended for one game for fighting Michael Crabtree last season.
None of that is why the Broncos are moving on from Talib.
They needed to clear both salary cap space and room for rising cornerback Bradley Roby, who’s getting a big pay raise from about $1 million in 2017 to $8.526 million this year in the final season of his rookie contract.
On Thursday, the Broncos also picked up cornerback Chris Harris Jr.’s $1 million option, guaranteeing his 2018 salary of about $7.5 million. He’ll cost them $10.26 million against the cap in 2018.
By trading Talib, who’s due $11 million this season and $8 million next year, the Broncos will have about $35 million in salary cap space to pursue free agents, including quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Talib said Donald was the first Ram to reach out to him after word of the deal got out Thursday night. They share an agent in Todd France.
Talib said he’ll miss playing with Harris, his college teammate at Kansas Breeland Speaks Color Rush Jersey , and the rest of the Broncos, however.
”It’s a business, man, so them guys understand,” Talib said. ”Chris hit me up. We’re all talented corners and they couldn’t pay all of us. They got that quarterback situation they’ve got to fix.”
Talib’s departure further breaks up the ”No Fly Zone ” secondary that saw its first departure last fall when the Broncos cut safety T.J. Ward so they could play second-year safety Justin Simmons more.
Talib, who was one of the Broncos’ defensive captains last season, called his stay in Denver special.
”I’m going to miss it. It’s a one-of-a-kind group in that locker room,” Talib said. ”Von’s going to be out here in Dallas this weekend for the grand opening of my workout facility. So, I’ll get to hang out with him again. But I’m definitely going to miss it. A lot of good memories in that locker room.”
With the two best games of his career coming on consecutive days, designated hitter Evan Gattis has quickly transformed into the Astros‘ hottest hitter – and their current good luck charm.
He’s got a franchise record to prove it, too.
Gattis hit two home runs, including the first of back-to-back shots with Marwin Gonzalez during a seven-run second inning, and the streaking Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 13-5 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win.
One night after homering and setting a career high with five RBIs, Gattis drove in five again Authentic Tre'Quan Smith Jersey , becoming the first player in franchise history to drive in five in consecutive games.
”It was fun to watch our guys respond to his continued damage at-bats,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. ”They’re taking his helmet off and rubbing it all over themselves and they’re trying to get as close to him as they can. They want whatever he’s eating, whatever he’s doing during the games.”
Jake Marisnick also homered, Carlos Correa had a two-run triple and Yuli Gurriel had three hits and three RBIs to help Gerrit Cole (8-1) win his sixth straight decision.
Gattis had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, hit a three-run home run off A’s starter Paul Blackburn (1-1) in the second then went deep again with a solo blast off Emilio Pagan in the seventh. Gattis also walked in the eighth.
”He’s white hot,” Cole said. ”Just a great approach right now. He’s obviously put the team on his back a little bit.”
Gattis’ 10 RBIs in two games also ties an Astros record, but the big slugger wouldn’t say he’s necessarily locked in at the plate.
”It never feels like it,” Gattis said. ”You’re about to go hit a ball with a stick and you’re going to get out 70 percent of the time. You have to enjoy the good stuff if you’re going to get mad about the negatives in the game.”
Cole allowed a season-high four runs over six uneven innings, including two home runs, but benefited from the early cushion. The AL leader in strikeouts fanned six and yielded six hits with two walks.
That gives Houston three eight-game winners – Cole, Thursday’s starter Justin Verlander (8-2) and Tuesday’s winner Lance McCullers (8-3).
”Some undesirable results a couple times,” Cole said. ”Fastball command wasn’t poor but it wasn’t as sharp.”
The defending World Series champs moved a season-high 19 games over .500. This is Houston’s longest winning streak since taking seven in a row from Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017.
Oakland outfielder Jake Smolinski became the first A’s position player to pitch in a game since utility player Tyler Ladendorf on June 3, 2016. Smolinski allowed a leadoff double to Max Stassi and a two-run home run to Marisnick in the ninth Authentic John Franklin-Myers Jersey , then retired the next three batters.
”The one thing you really want is don’t get hurt and throw the ball over the middle of the plate, and he did exactly that,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”He was up for it. He’s up for just about anything.”
Khris Davis homered twice for Oakland, his 18th and 19th of the season. Stephen Piscotty also went deep.
The Astros flexed their defensive muscle in the eighth after Matt Olson reached on an error. Marisnick made a leaping catch in center to rob Matt Chapman of a home run, then threw to second baseman Tony Kemp, who relayed to first to double up Olson.
Blackburn retired only four batters and allowed eight runs before departing in the second.
Athletics: Chapman made another handful of stellar defensive plays at third base, one night after getting hit in the left hand by a 92.3 mph fastball from Astros reliever Collin McHugh.
Verlander (8-2, 2.58 ERA) makes his 15th start in the series finale for Houston on Thursday. Among qualifying pitchers, Verlander leads the majors in ERA and is second in innings pitched (93 1/3) and third in strikeouts (113). Right-hander Frankie Montas (3-0, 1.25) goes for Oakland.