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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Cornerback on the Bucs' radar -- Talib or not



While Aqib Talib sits at home facing a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, the Buccaneers are charged with trying to determine how to proceed without having a resolution to his case.

Is cornerback suddenly a greater need because Talib very likely won't be available to the Bucs for the foreseeable future?

The answer, according to general manager Mark Dominik, doesn't matter. It appears taking a cornerback is on the Bucs' to-do list come next week's draft. The only issue, it seems, is the draft position at which they select one.

"For me, personally and fundamentally. . . I don't think you can ever have enough cornerbacks," Dominik said today in his pre-draft interview with Bucs media. "It doesn't really affect me other than it just reinforces my opinion that you can never have enough cornerbacks in the National Football League. We have right now eight selections and who knows where we’re going to use them and at what positions?

"But that’s a position that I’m always going to put high on my priority list."

Whether Dominik admits it or not, the need is clearly exacerbated because of the Talib situation. The Bucs could opt to cut the troubled but talented cornerback when the NFL lockout ends (transactions are not permitted during a work stoppage) or the league could intervene and suspend him. Either way, the odds are good Talib's career will be interrupted for multiple games after his alleged involvement in a shooting incident in Garland, Texas.

Dominik would not comment specifically about his expectations in the matter or whether he believed Talib would be available to play in 2011.

"At this point, I reserve any more comments about Talib for the simple (reason) that there’s so much to be resolved," he said. "So I wouldn’t have any comment on that."

Still, Dominik left the clear impression that, if there is a cornerback on the board early in this draft that can be a difference-maker, the Bucs will not hesitate to grab him -- Talib or no Talib.

"You have to take the draft as it comes to you and take the player that you think can best fit your football team short term and long term," he said. "That won’t change regardless of a specific event or a specific person."

[Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 3:27pm]


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