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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib will not be suspended by NFL

TAMPA — Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib will not be suspended by the NFL for the 2011 season, but both the team and the league will monitor his pending legal case, general manager Mark Dominik said Saturday.

Talib met Tuesday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York. Talib is scheduled to stand trial March 26, 2012, in Dallas County on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

"I'm happy it's over with," said Talib, who received word of the decision before Saturday's 17-13 preseason victory against the Dolphins, adding that it was a "big burden off my shoulders."

He said he gave Goodell the "rundown on what really happened" and his lawyer presented information "he really didn't know about."

Dominik said that while he supported Goodell's decision, he wasn't pleased with Talib's situation.

"I don't want to have to deal with these kinds of things," Dominik said before the game. "And again, I think Aqib and our football team knows that's not the kind of team we want to be here and build here. We want to be a team our community sits around and is really proud of. So I'm not relieved because I don't want to be in these situations anymore.

"But the truth is, this is America and he's getting his opportunity."

Talib was suspended by the league for the first game last season after assaulting a St. Petersburg cab driver in 2009. He has not played this preseason because of a hamstring injury but is expected to return Thursday at Washington. Talib said he will be ready for the Sept. 11 opener against the Lions.

"I got off the phone with the league office and we discussed Aqib's situation, and they informed us he would not be suspended for the 2011 football season," Dominik said. "Certainly we and the National Football League are going to continue to track the case and … will proceed accordingly, however that pans out."

Through his attorney, Frank Perez, Talib has maintained his innocence since his arrest for his role in a shooting March 21 in Garland, Texas. Garland police said Talib, 25, and his mother shot at his sister's boyfriend. After conferring with Talib once the NFL's labor lockout ended, the Bucs allowed him to return to the team.

Goodell had said he would impose discipline on players who violated the league's conduct policy during the lockout, and he retained that power in the 10-year collective bargaining agreement.

Based on his discussions with Talib and his attorney, Dominik said he felt comfortable with Goodell's decision. "Once Aqib came back to this football team and we had a chance to talk to his agent, the limited (information) the attorney could actually share with us and certainly Aqib's recant of what the story was, I do feel like I'm in agreement and wholeheartedly support what Commissioner Goodell has decided," he said.

Also Saturday, the NFL confirmed that Goodell told Titans receiver Kenny Britt, who had two incidents involving police during the lockout, that he will not be punished. "The commissioner restated his expectation that Britt will be responsible for his actions going forward and noted that future incidents will lead to appropriate discipline," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib will not be suspended by NFL 08/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 28, 2011 1:07am]
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