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2019 Los Angeles Rams roster preview: CB Aqib Talib ready to put final stamp

Talib arrived last year to help take the Rams’ defense to a Super Bowl. Having succeeded, what remains for the last year on his contract, for potentially his last year in the NFL?

Los Angeles Rams CB Aqib Talib laughs during minicamp, Jun. 11, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams CB Aqib Talib laughs during minicamp, Jun. 11, 2019.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long road for Los Angeles Rams CB Aqib Talib.

The off-field headlines were frequent. And troubling. And yet here we are, Talib the elder statesman providing veteran sensibility to an otherwise very young cornerback group.

Talib has lived the old maxim that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And that journey has brought him here, to 2019 with the Rams in the final year of his contract.

Is the end of his journey?

If so, it’s been one hell of a journey. And one that deserves a fitting destination at the end.

Roster Battle

No battle, but Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips does have an interesting balance here. In the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Rams spent the 79th overall pick on Michigan Wolverines CB David Long (roster preview). While Talib and CB Marcus Peters (roster preview) remain the starters on the outside and will likely cede very little playing time to Long early on, his arrival gives Phillips an out should Talib or Peters (a) get injured again as both did last year or (b) perform so poorly that Long offers them a chance to recuperate.

Expectations

High, but probably too high given his age and the mythology that builds up around cornerbacks.

Chances of making the final roster (10/10)

Talib deserves a fitting sendoff is this is indeed his final season with the Rams and/or his final season in the NFL.

His story may not be the one of a role model, but it’s been real. Real real. And that may be more honest than we deserve.