Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Greg Schiano says no single factor led to Aqib Talib trade

TAMPA — The Bucs say no single event prompted Thursday's surprise trade of CB Aqib Talib to the Patriots, including his current four-game suspension handed down last month.

Instead, according to coach Greg Schiano, the situation morphed and the trade opportunity presented itself.

"Everything is (grouped) together," Schiano said Friday in his first comments about the trade. "Plus the opportunity presented itself, right? So, it all factored in. I wouldn't say there is any one thing that made or didn't make the decision."

GM Mark Dominik said Thursday that the trade came about as the result of "a casual conversation that worked into something more."

Schiano asked fans to "trust us" when he said Talib would be welcomed back after his suspension, despite his long history of off-field problems. But Schiano said that didn't mean a decision was made at the time.

"When I say that, what I mean is we're going to do everything we can within our control and with all our intelligence to make the best decision for the organization," Schiano said. "That's really kind of what I meant. There's no way I could predict what the situation would be right before the trade deadline. I didn't know that."

Though the Bucs haven't and probably won't say what role Talib's character played in the decision, Schiano made a statement that perhaps answers the question.

"We have talked at length about how we want to become a championship team," he said. "It is not at all cost. It is doing it the right way and being a championship team in a community that is truly a community, Tampa."

PAYDAY: Bucs LT Donald Penn and Vikings DE Jared Allen were assessed fines following their fight in last week's Bucs win at Minnesota.

Because each drew personal fouls, specifically for grabbing each other's face masks, each player was fined the requisite $7,875. These are considered minimal fines under the NFL rules. The league could have assessed greater fines had the incident warranted it.

Penn and Allen, after engaging in a tough matchup throughout the game, let emotions boil over during the third quarter, each throwing punches at the other after the whistle. Allen was left bloody when, he says, his face mask gashed the bridge of his nose after his helmet was pulled off by Penn.

LINING UP: The apparent plan for Sunday in the wake of All-Pro LG Carl Nicks' injury is to play backup Ted Larsen at center and move the starting center, Jeremy Zuttah, to left guard. That was how players lined up during Friday's practice, the final workout before the team's game at Oakland on Sunday.

Most see center as the strength of both players, but Zuttah has a better track record of success playing at guard.

ANOTHER HONOR: After winning NFL offensive rookie of the month honors, RB Doug Martin was also named FedEx NFL Ground Player of the Week. The winner is chosen based on fan balloting on NFL.com. Martin, after rushing for 135 yards against the Vikings last week, beat out fellow nominees Trent Richardson of the Browns and Stevan Ridley of the Patriots.

View Stephen F. Holder's Bucs blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs. Follow him on Twitter at @HolderStephen.

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