Saturday, October 13, 2012
Final straw for Aqib Talib?
By Pat Yasinskas
Saturday’s news that Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances might be his final straw with the Buccaneers.
In a statement released by the team, Talib said he took an Adderall (a medication generally used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder) pill at the beginning of training camp. Talib said he did not have a prescription for the drug. Talib said he will not appeal the suspension, which begins immediately.
“This is especially regrettable because, for the past several months, with coach (Greg) Schiano's help, I've worked very hard to improve myself -- professionally and personally -- as a player and a man,’’ Talib said. “I am truly sorry to my teammates, coaches and Buccaneers fans, and I'm disappointed in myself. I will work diligently every day of this suspension to stay in top football shape and be ready to help this team in the second half of the season.’’
Talib is eligible to return to the Buccaneers on Nov. 5 and my guess is he will get a chance to finish the season with Tampa Bay.
But I think it’s pretty safe to say that, when his contract is up after the season, the Bucs simply will let the troubled cornerback walk. Coach Greg Schiano is a no-nonsense guy, and Talib’s career has been filled with a lot of off-field nonsense.
When Schiano took over in January, he gave all his players a clean slate. But, like Kellen Winslow and Tanard Jackson, Talib was a guy that began the Schiano era with an 0-2 count and looking out at Stephen Strasburg on the hill.
By all accounts, Talib had been on his best behavior since Schiano’s arrival. But Talib’s career has been filled with issues that make it unlikely that a coach that prides himself on discipline will give him anything beyond a third strike.
"We are disappointed to learn that Aqib Talib will be suspended for four games, which will begin with our game tomorrow against Kansas City,’’ Schiano said in the team’s statement. “I have spoken with Aqib, and he knows that he made a poor decision that let our team down. Certainly, other players will have the opportunity to step up while he serves this suspension."
Let’s be real honest here. Schiano unloaded Winslow and Jackson as soon as he saw something he didn’t like. He can’t be happy about Talib’s situation, and I wouldn’t expect much patience or sympathy from the coach.
Schiano could decide to part ways with Talib this season, but the Bucs aren’t exactly loaded with quality depth at cornerback. Talib might come back in November. But, once the season ends, he probably will be looking for a new place to play.