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Tuesday's NFL: Rams send Aqib Talib, pick to Dolphins for late-rounder

Associated Press
The Rams traded injured cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick to the Dolphins for an undisclosed future draft choice.

Los Angeles — The Los Angeles Rams traded cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick in 2020 to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday for an undisclosed future draft choice.

The 33-year-old Talib is on injured reserve with a rib injury. The 12-year veteran defensive back might not play again this season, and might never play for the rebuilding Dolphins, who continue to stockpile draft picks.

Talib played in eight regular-season games last year and five more this year, making just one interception and struggling with injuries in both of his seasons with the Rams. But he returned last year to start all three playoff games for Los Angeles, including the Super Bowl.

While his playing contributions to the Rams weren’t huge, the five-time Pro Bowl selection made an impact on the Rams’ locker room culture with his leadership, according to players during both seasons. The once-volatile defensive back served as a mentor to his younger teammates when healthy or injured.

Talib will be an unrestricted free agent this winter after playing out the six-year, $57 million deal he signed with the Denver Broncos, with whom he won the Super Bowl four seasons ago.

The Rams (5-3) have traded both of their starting cornerbacks this month, and they have already parted ways with three of their four secondary starters in last season’s Super Bowl. The fourth, safety John Johnson, is on injured reserve.

Los Angeles shipped cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago to clear room to acquire Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville. This trade of Talib might have been made to free up salary cap room for another deal  or to sign Ramsey to a contract extension.

Safety Eric Weddle, who joined the Rams as a free agent before this season, is the only remaining healthy starter in the secondary from the Rams’ season opener. Ramsey has played well in two games since his arrival, and veteran backup cornerback Troy Hill moved into Talib’s starting spot three games ago.

Marqui Christian started in Johnson’s place at safety in the Rams’ win over Cincinnati in London last weekend, but rookie safety Taylor Rapp is also playing extensively.

The Rams are in their bye week after back-to-back victories. They play at Pittsburgh next weekend.

The winless Dolphins could use secondary help, but Talib isn’t eligible to return until Week 15 and might not be healthy then.

“We’ll just see where that’s at,” Miami coach Brian Flores said. “There are a lot of things we have to assess and evaluate.”

Miami’s 2018 Pro Bowl cornerback, Xavien Howard, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury that bothered him in recent weeks.

ESPN first reported the Talib deal.

Personnel dept.

The winless Bengals benched Andy Dalton heading into their bye week, ending his nine-season run as starter so they can start developing rookie Ryan Finley as his potential long-term replacement.

... A person with knowledge of the situation says Washington’s starting left tackle Trent Williams has reported, ending his lengthy holdout.

... The Falcons released kicker Matt Bryant and brought in Younghoe Koo as his replacement.

... The Patriots released kicker Mike Nugent and tight end Eric Tomlinson.

... The Jaguars placed receiver Marqise Lee on injured reserve for the second straight season, likely signaling the end of his time in Jacksonville.

... Vikings safety Jayron Kearse has been charged with multiple gun and alcohol counts after authorities say he was driving while impaired and had a loaded gun in his car.