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Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) stops a scrambling Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the first half as they take on the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Hyattsville, MD. December 24, 2017. (Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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Schlereth: Talib trade ‘money well dumped’ if Broncos land Cousins

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) stops a scrambling Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the first half as they take on the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Hyattsville, MD. December 24, 2017. (Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

To call the Denver Broncos trade sending Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams anything more than a salary dump would be “preposterous,” Mark Schlereth said on Friday.

The “Schlereth and Evans” co-host called the “spin” surrounding the trade, which not only landed the Broncos a fifth-round pick in 2018 but also Talib’s salary off its books, “ridiculous.”

“See, when I hear the spin, ‘They’ve got to see if Bradley Roby can play because they’ve got to decide whether they’re going to pay him,’ … Really? You need to see if he can play?” Schlereth said.

Schlereth said the Talib trade was a “dumping” of salary — the cornerback was due to make $11 million in 2018 and $8 million in 2019, per Spotrac.com — but to what end?

“I think you have to ask yourself if you’re dumping that salary, are you chasing a ghost? That would be my question. Are you chasing a ghost?” Schlereth said, referencing the possible Broncos run at high-priced free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins.

It’s “money well dumped,” Schlereth said, if Cousins eventually lands in Denver, but “the scary thing is you’re getting rid of salary to chase a guy that you’re probably not going to get. That bothers me.”

However, Mike Pritchard, co-host of “Pritchard and Cecil,” said the Talib move was an eventuality, that the Broncos were “going to make this move anyway at some point.”

“It’s not to target Kirk Cousins, specifically,” Pritchard said. “It’s just to create room and some area for you to maneuver as an organization through free agency.”

Pritchard’s co-host, Fan Football Insider Cecil Lammey, said the move frees up money for free agency, but Denver’s likely to use that first on retaining its own free agents.

“This move, to me, signifies that you want to keep your own guys, including Shaq Barrett and Matt Paradis,” Lammey said. “… It starts with the guys you want to keep first.”

Free agency officially kicks off at 2 p.m. Denver time on Wednesday, though the legal tampering period starts on Monday.

Stay tuned to 104.3 The Fan and check back to 1043TheFan.com for updates as they come in.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.

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