Monday, August 22, 2011
Bucs await decision on Talib
By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib will travel to New York this week to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell, who ultimately will determine if the league will punish the player for his role in an off-field incident in March.
The incident took place in Texas and Talib’s lawyers have claimed he was coming to the aid of his sister. Witnesses said guns were fired and Talib was charged with aggravated assault. His trial is scheduled for next March.
Talib has been practicing with the Buccaneers since the lockout was lifted and training camp opened. Team officials said they’ve heard Talib’s side of the story and did not feel his actions warranted his release. But those officials also have known the possibility of league discipline might be on the horizon.
Talib was suspended for the first game of last season for a 2009 altercation with a cab driver. That makes Talib a repeat offender under the NFL’s personal-conduct penalty and any possible suspension likely would be for more than one game.
Although the Bucs have known since March that Talib might face disciplinary action, they made no major moves to prepare for a suspension. Talib is the team’s top cornerback, but there is depth.
Veteran Ronde Barber is the other starter. E.J. Biggers has played well as the nickel back and the team believes he could handle the starting role. Second-year pro Myron Lewis has potential, but has yet to show consistency. If Talib is suspended, the Bucs would have to choose among Lewis, Ashton Youboty and Elbert Mack as the nickel back.