Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Aqib Talib trade affects Bucs in present, future

Trading Aqib Talib on Thursday leaves the Bucs shorthanded today and possibly even more shorthanded in the near future.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times (2009)

Trading Aqib Talib on Thursday leaves the Bucs shorthanded today and possibly even more shorthanded in the near future.

NFL coaches don't read horoscopes. They live in a world of now. They worry about the next game, the next first down, the next play.

That's why you have to give some credit to coach Greg Schiano and the Bucs for their decision to trade cornerback Aqib Talib to the Patriots on Thursday. The Bucs received a fourth-round pick in 2013 in exchange for Talib and a seventh-rounder.

In the short term, losing a starting cornerback with first-round talent likely will come back to bite the Bucs.

Maybe not today in Oakland because the Bucs still have the services of cornerback Eric Wright. According to a report by Jay Glazer of Fox last week, Wright will be suspended four games for testing positive for Adderall, a banned substance Talib says also led to his four-game suspension.

But remember, if the report is true, the Bucs could face the prospect of having neither starting cornerback in games against quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Matt Ryan (twice), Peyton Manning and Michael Vick.

"You do try to look at the now and the future," Schiano said. "We all thought this was the best move for the now and the future, and that's why we did it."

Talib can become a free agent at the end of the season, and the Bucs decided not to attempt to re-sign him. That said, getting a fourth-round pick for someone who has, at most, eight games left in a Tampa Bay uniform is more than adequate compensation.

Perhaps only Patriots coach Bill Belichick, with three Super Bowl rings and five appearances, has the kind of equity to take a chance on a talented but troubled player such as Talib knowing they might only be renting him for the rest of the season. The Patriots secondary has been a problem, having given up 42 pass plays of 20 yards or more.

Talib, 26, still has ability, though at this point in his career, he is not as good as the hype. He has 18 interceptions over four-plus seasons but only three since 2010. He'll be motivated to play in New England, especially having only a few months to improve his free agent bounty.

If the Bucs win today and move to 4-4, they will be only two games (possibly one) behind the final wild-card team with some favorable matchups left on the schedule. They already have lost guards Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks to season-ending injuries. Can they afford to lose another first-round talent?

At the very least, the Bucs are going to find out more about cornerbacks E.J. Biggers, Leonard Johnson and Myron Lewis.

"Now that I think there are some guys progressing — E.J. Biggers is playing well — certainly all those factors come into play," Schiano said. "I think we have some young corners in the program now that can play; Myron Lewis, all those guys. They've got to play. That's the way you get better. You can practice, and that's great. You have to do that to get good. But there's no substitute for games.

"Like any decision we make, you have to make the decision and go with it. If it's wrong, then you'll change it. That's something I learned a long time ago. Once you make it, you've got to go. We feel good about it, and we'll be ready to go (today)."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

Aqib Talib trade affects Bucs in present, future 11/02/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 3:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs


    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  2. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  3. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.