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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs made Talib trade with a long-term view



The Bucs clearly took Aqib Talib’s off-field matters into account when they traded him on Thursday. How could they not after five years of issues that ranged from minor to major?

But let’s take his character issues off the table for a moment. Let’s examine this trade from a pure football standpoint.

When doing so, one thing becomes clear: This trade is made with a long-term view. For the Patriots, it’s a decidedly short-term move, one made to tighten up their pass defense as they hopefully make a postseason run. Some media in New England have even called this a desperate move by coach Bill Belichick.

But for the Bucs, who might get into the playoff race but aren’t considered a Super Bowl contender, looking ahead is smart. The Bucs are not a better team right now after trading their top cover man.

But the truth is, Talib wasn’t going to be here, anyway. His contract was set to expire after this season, and if you think his re-signing was imminent, we have a really nice bridge to show you.

The Bucs, in effect, grabbed a fourth-round pick for their troubled former first-round pick in exchange for letting him walk eight games earlier. 

They may come to second-guess themselves depending on how the rest of the season goes. They’ve still got another game against Drew Brees, one against Peyton Manning and two against the Falcons. They could use Talib down the stretch, and there’s no arguing that.

But the Bucs accomplished a couple of important things by making this move. For one, coach Greg Schiano retains some credibility by showing that even a player of Talib’s caliber will be held accountable.

Second, the Bucs positioned themselves to acquire more talent in the draft, as their two fourth-round picks are prime ammunition for another draft-night deal by general manager Mark Dominik – the kind of deals that last April netted starters Doug Martin and Lavonte David.

Every good trade is made by balancing current needs versus future gains. When the Bucs made their calculations, they decided trading Talib was the right move.

And if they play their cards right, that will prove true.

[Last modified: Friday, November 2, 2012 9:58am]


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