- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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I just sent an item to our news side that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib in Garland, Texas.
That’s according to a spokesman for the Garland Police Department, who appeared on WDAE radio (620 AM) in Tampa with host Steve Duemig a few minutes ago. The spokesman said that Talib is aware of the warrant and is expected to turn himself in sometime this week.
We’ve been tempering every post about Talib’s situation with the fact that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. Now that will change, and a lot of other things could follow. The charge will be a second-degree felony, and that means Talib could face a prison sentence of five to 20 years.
The spokesman said a grand jury will hear the case in the next four to six weeks, and it could take months for the matter to come to trial.
With the NFL in a lockout, there’s nothing the Bucs or the NFL can really do at this point. But Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that any player who violates the league’s personal conduct penalty will be subject to disciplinary action once the lockout ends.
Talib was suspended for the first game of last season for an altercation with a cab driver. Repeat offenders generally are subject to more severe penalties by the NFL. But that point could be moot because Talib could end up in prison.
We talked a bit this morning about how easy it would be for the Bucs to just cut Talib once the lockout is over. Yeah, there’s still the issue of presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But given Talib’s track record, I don’t think the Bucs have to wait for the legal system to play out. He will be charged with a crime involving a gun, and that, coupled with his history, is enough to justify the move. Despite enormous on-the-field talent, this guy has brought problems since his arrival in Tampa Bay.
Former coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen drafted Talib. Current general manager Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris like to talk about how they value character.
Well, the minute this lockout is over, they need to make a strong statement. The minute the lockout is over, they need to cut Talib.