Talib's lawyer says he deserves presumption of innocence

The attorney for troubled Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib says his client should be able to play in the NFL in 2011 because his trial date isn’t until March.

Talib faces a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly firing a gun at the boyfriend of his sister. He was also accused of attempting to pistol whip the man in a March 21 disturbance in Garland, Texas.

Frank Perez, Talib’s attorney, told Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times that Talib should receive a presumption of innocence from the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL has made it clear it intends to discipline players who have been in violation of the personal conduct policy during the lockout, which is now more four months old.

“Absolutely — Aqib has the presumption of innocence,” Perez said. “Everyone should consider him innocent at this point I would hope they let him play this season and let him have his day in court. We are very confident and strongly believe he will prevail in court.”

The problem for Perez – and in a bigger way Talib – is that the personal conduct policy doesn’t rely solely on the court system to make decisions. Talib has been a violator in the past and was suspended for assaulting a cab driver. Goodell could easily make a decision involving Talib before the 2011 season begins. In fact, we’d expect that to happen.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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