Aqib Talib negotiations hit a snag
First-round pick Aqib Talib's contract negotiations, previously thought to be nearing an end, now might take longer than expected.
We've learned Talib's agent, Todd France, and Bucs management have had little to no dialogue in the past two days, leaving the rookie cornerback in danger of missing Friday's reporting deadline in Celebration. The team's first practice is scheduled for Saturday morning at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
The sides had been having regular talks up until recent days, and signs pointed to the possibility a deal could be struck with time to spare. But one thing that likely remains a sticking point in the Talib negotiations and those of other players is the lack of signings by rookies drafted in the same area of the draft. The contracts of players selected in the same range of the draft typically are used by agents as a baseline in negotiations.
With only a handful of late first-round picks signed (Talib was the 20th overall pick), there is little for Talib's representatives to use as a points of reference.
Talib is one of three rookies who have yet to agree to terms. He is joined by second-round pick Dexter Jackson and fifth-rounder Josh Johnson. Third-round pick Jeremy Zuttah signed his contract earlier today, the Bucs announced. The Bucs have not had a rookie contract holdout under general manager Bruce Allen, who joined the team in 2004.
[Brian Cassella, Times files]