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Tampa Bay Buccaneers sticking with troubled Aqib Talib

TAMPA — Bucs general manager Mark Dominik removed all doubt with one concise statement.

"As of now, everyone in Tampa should expect Aqib Talib to show up for the first day of training camp," he said Tuesday.

Previously, that was not certain given the cornerback's ongoing legal battle. Talib faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Garland, Texas, for his alleged role in a shooting in March. He is scheduled to stand trial next March. Dominik said the Bucs aren't making any snap decisions.

"I would like to know exactly what the feeling is from Aqib's defense attorneys to find out exactly where they think this entire process will be heading," Dominik said.

Dominik hasn't spoken to Talib's defense attorneys, but plans to. He also wants to meet with Talib to find out more specifics. Dominik said that, short of a shocking revelation, little in those conversations is likely to alter the team's plans.

Talib was suspended for one game by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last season for involvement in a battery committed against a taxi driver, and in addition to the battery arrest, he has been fined and disciplined by the club in numerous instances.

Now, Talib, 25, faces two to 20 years in prison if convicted in the Texas case, though the facts of the case remain unclear.

Dominik, who loathes the characterization of the Bucs as being soft on discipline, tried to make a distinction between Talib's history and the character of most Bucs.

"I would step back and look at our team as a whole," he said. "Certainly, I'd like to find out more information about (Talib's arrest). No one condones being in the news in that capacity that often, but at the end of the day, I'm not going to pass judgment."

Dominik said he believes Talib could face punishment from the league though his case hasn't been heard, but has not been able to consult with the league office. The Bucs also might discipline Talib.

"As an organization, no matter what, we'll still hold ourselves accountable with what we do on and off the football field,'' he said. "… Our shield is important to us and we will always do everything to make sure it's not tarnished or blemished."

BUCS NOT BIG PLAYERS?: The Bucs, who have the most salary-cap space in the NFL, continue to be linked in reports to Oakland prized free agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha.

But paying a 30-year-old north of $15 million annually doesn't mesh with their methods.

"The way we've been building this football team … over the last couple of years, I think there's a blueprint that's already sitting in front of you all, and we're going to follow that blueprint,'' Dominik said.

PRESEASON TV: Preseason games will air on Ch. 10, the team announced. The preseason opener, at Kansas City, will air nationally on Ch. 13. If home games are blacked out locally, they will air on tape delay.

PRICE LOOKS GOOD: DT Brian Price (pelvic fracture) looked ill prepared for training camp at the player-organized minicamp last month, but Dominik said Price looks healthy and will begin camp on the active roster.

ROSTER MOVES: The team signed third-round pick Mason Foster, a linebacker from Washington, and seventh-round pick Daniel Hardy, a tight end from Idaho, and agreed to terms with college free agent Derrell Smith, a linebacker from Syracuse. Also, according to WVIllustrated.com, St. Petersburg Catholic graduate and West Virginia WR Jock Sanders will sign a free-agent deal. So will former Tennessee LB Nick Reveiz, according to the News-Sentinel of Knoxville, Tenn.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sticking with troubled Aqib Talib 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:55pm]

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