I think NE can afford a 4th, but a steal? He's still suspended, a FA at the end of this year I believe, and hasn't played that well this year.
Asante Samuel went in-conference for a 7th. That's a steal.
You're right, but the difference is that Samuel probably only gives the Falcons 2-3 years due to his age, while Talib potentially can give the Pats 5-7 years due to his.
Samuel was always a short-term fix, hoping to give the Back 7 the necessary push to get over the hump this year or next. If that comes true, that 7th rounder will be one of the better spent in recent NFL history.
If Talib works out for the Pats, it's a long-term fix, giving them a Top 10 cornerback potentially for a half-decade. The last time they had that defensively, they went to 4 Super Bowls in 7 years. It also acts as potentially be the short-term boost to a weak secondary to get them over the hump this year or next.
Odds are probably not in favor of it working out for the Pats, but certainly bold and we could be looking back at this a few years from now as another of many great coups by Belichick (Brady, Dillon, Vrabel, Moss, Welker, etc.). If anybody deserves his respective fanbases eternal benefit of the doubt, it should be Belichick.
But this just could be Brandon Meriweather: The Sequel.