Broncos’ No-Fly Zone takes hit as Talib traded to Rams

Another crucial piece of the Denver Broncos’ dominant defense that won the team its third Super Bowl is on its way out of the Mile High City.

NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Thursday evening that the Broncos traded cornerback Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams. The return to Denver is a fifth-round pick in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.

Talib will now join a good, young Los Angeles team coming off of a 2017 postseason appearance. The Rams have also already acquired former Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters earlier this offseason.

Last season, Talib picked off one pass in 15 games, a pass that he returned 103 yards for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. The pick-6 capped off a 42-17 beatdown in front of the Broncos’ home crowd. He also forced one fumble, recorded one sack and deflected seven passes.

The trade shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Denver was rumored to have been shopping Talib, according to a piece published by 9News’ Mike Klis, and Talib reportedly wanted to sign with the New England Patriots if he were released. Now that Talib is out of the picture, more opportunities should arise for younger members of the Broncos secondary, like Justin Simmons and Bradley Roby.

The Rams appear to be following in the footsteps of recent title-winners, such as the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 and the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, by assembling a dominant defense to complement a powerful Jared Goff-led offense that ranked 7th in the NFL last season, according to NFL.com. Their current defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, occupied a pivotal role in Denver’s success in 2015.

Rams, Chiefs to play in Mexico City

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs will play in Mexico City in 2018.

“Over the past two seasons, we have seen the extraordinary passion that exists for NFL football in Mexico,” Goodell said.   “We are excited for another memorable event at Estadio Azteca … in 2018.”

This game, featuring the Rams as the home team, will be the third played in Mexico City since 2016. It is one of four international games on the 2018 NFL Schedule, the other three being in London. The date and time of the game will be announced with the rest of the 2018 schedule.

“It is great to be participating in the NFL’s international games again and working with the league to grow the game abroad,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said. “Mexico has one of the largest NFL fan bases in the world and we are excited to bring Rams football to the millions of fans there.”

Because the Rams are technically the home team, they will only play seven games at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum next season.

The Oakland Raiders played in the past two games in Mexico City, taking on the Houston Texans in 2016 and New England Patriots in 2017.