The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not have to be concerned about conduct issues with Aqib Talib any longer.
That is because the Bucs traded the talented but sometimes troubled cornerback to the New England Patriots today in a deadline deal. Talib gets a fresh start with a club familiar with bringing in wayward players.
The Patriots shipped a fourth-round pick to the Bucs for Talib, a first-round draft pick in 2008. The Bucs will send a seventh rounder to the Patriots.
Talib is still serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He tested positive for Adderall. He is in the final year of his rookie contract.
“This is a decision that we felt was in the best interest of our organization,'' Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. "The thing you have to keep in mind is that for us, you're body of work is what it is.
"And Aqib Talib has played well for us. But, at the same point, he's also got eight games left on his contract and then his contract is going to expire. So, we felt like this was an important decision for us.''
Talib’s suspension ends after this weekend and he will be eligible to play for the Patriots beginning Nov. 11. New England had some holes in its secondary and could have a steal in Talib, but he’ll have to clean up his act.
The clear signal, from our standpoint, is that the Bucs did not plan to extend Talib after this season. In making this move, they got something for a talented receiver instead of waiting to see what -- if anything -- they would collect in the form of a compensatory draft pick.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune