As a long time follower of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I speculated earlier this week that the Buccaneers might move a player or two at the NFL trade deadline. One of the players I threw out there, now appears to be moved. CB Aqib Talib, currently serving a four game league imposed suspension after testing positive for Adderall, has reportedly been shipped to the New England Patriots.
The reports are in the early stage, but this does not surprise me in the least. Talib has had a history of off-field issues and first-year head coach Greg Schiano has made it perfectly clear that it’s his way, or the highway under his tenure with the Buccaneers.
Talib has a long history of character issues and well documented run-ins with the law. He is a former first-round draft selection and had the dreaded “P” word surrounding him during his career, potential. He always exhibited exceptional talent at times, but never brought his game up to the level at which many analysts thought we was capable of.
The move to New England does not surprise me. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knows head coach Greg Schiano, and actually vouched for him to get a starting job with the Buccaneers ownership this offseason while his son played for Schiano at Rutgers.
Bill Belichick has no problems with bringing on players which are seemingly ‘problem children’ elsewhere, and it’s likely that New England did not surrender a king’s ransom in order to acquire the soon to be free agent corner.Details of the trade have not be made available at this time.
Talib was facing felony chargers this offseason after an incident involving a gun in Texas last year. He has already been suspended by the NFL after assaulting a taxicab driver in the Tampa Bay area. I had little doubt that Talib was walking a fine line with his free agency coming up. Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers believed at this popint, it’s better to allow another team to overpay for the troubled Talib in free agency and they will fill the position elsewhere.
On the field, Talib can be an exceptional player, at times. His off the field behavior has become the serious distraction. There is no doubt that his agent will inform Talib that he must walk the straight and narrow for the rest of the season while heading into free agency and playing one of the highest profile and well paid positions in the NFL. I look for Talib to provide a boost to the Patriots secondary this season, but he’ll be auditioning for a contract next year once he comes off suspension after this week.
UPDATE: Various media outlets are now reporting that the New England Patriots surrendered a fourth-round pick to the Buccaneers in order to acquire Talib and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers seventh-round pick.