One of the NFL’s premier veteran cornerbacks might become available on the open market this offseason and interest the 49ers.

Broncos Pro-Bowler Aqib Talib is reportedly on the trading block, according to Pro Football Talk. But there might not be suitors looking to add the 32-year-old in a trade with a $12-million cap hit for 2018. That could mean Talib gets released and becomes an unrestricted free agent.

The 49ers are expected to have roughly $110 million in cap space to lead the NFL. Their top priority will be inking quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term contract, perhaps making him one of the league’s highest paid players in the process.

San Francisco’s next mandate will be finding upgrades at key positions to facilitate a return to playoff contention. Cornerback is one of San Francisco’s most pressing needs, which could get addressed both in the NFL draft and free agency. Starter Dontae Johnson underwhelmed throughout 2017 and was benched twice late in the season. He’s unsigned for 2018.

Talib is a polarizing player. He has a history of off-the-field incidents and suspensions. He was clipped one game in November for snapping a necklace off Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree leading to a brawl. He also accidentally shot himself in June 2016, but participated in most of training camp and made his fourth straight Pro-Bowl that season. He went to his fifth straight on Sunday.

Talib (6-foot-2) has the size and skill set the 49ers would be looking for to fit their scheme. He has 34 career interceptions and 117 pass breakups. He’s been a key member of Denver’s elite secondary since 2014 and helped the club win the Super Bowl the following season. San Francisco’s pass defense ranked 22nd in 2017. Its 10 interceptions ranked 27th.

However, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have emphasized locker room culture in their rebuilding project since taking over nearly a year ago. Talib’s big personality might not fit the team’s impressionable youth movement.

Lynch and top personnel executive Adam Peters have close ties to the Broncos’ front office and should have access to the information needed to help decide if Talib would be a good addition or not. Other potential free agent targets at corner are Malcolm Butler (Patriots), Trumaine Johnson (Rams) and Justin Bethel (Cardinals).

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