Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Troubled Aqib Talib all but gone from Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA — Barring a last-minute change of heart — or perhaps his exoneration — the Bucs are expected to release troubled CB Aqib Talib.

Only the lockout, which prevents teams from making transactions, has prevented Tampa Bay from already cutting ties with its 2008 first-round draft pick.

Despite his talent as one of the few shutdown cornerbacks in the league, Talib has run out of chances, the Bucs believe.

Talib, 25, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in a March 21 shooting in Garland, Texas, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Police say he fired a handgun at Shannon Billings, 40, his sister's live-in boyfriend. Through his attorneys, Talib has denied the accusation.

Since arriving from Kansas, Talib has been involved in a series of violent incidents.

He fought a teammate at the NFL rookie symposium. In 2009 he swung a helmet at tackle Donald Penn during an argument and inadvertently struck cornerback Torrie Cox, splitting his head open. Last year Talib agreed to a deal with prosecutors to resolve a battery charge after he was accused of hitting a St. Petersburg cab driver, and he was suspended for the first game last season by commissioner Roger Goodell.

In the Texas case, police say Talib tried to pistol whip his sister's boyfriend during a domestic dispute. When Talib's mother, Okolo, arrived, she fired several shots at Billings before Talib got the weapon and shot at Billings. Okolo Talib, 58, also was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as being a felon in possession of a handgun.

As far as the Bucs are concerned, the outcome of the case won't matter. They know Talib at the least faces a long league suspension.

The Bucs have reached a point where they believe Talib's talent no longer justifies the trouble he generates. They believe it's only a matter of time before he runs afoul of the rules again.

That's why general manager Mark Dominik made it clear last week that the Bucs have altered their draft plans to include selecting a cornerback.

The Bucs don't have to wait for the outcome of Talib's case to make a move. They didn't in October when former TE Jerramy Stevens was arrested on two felony marijuana possession charges; the team released him two days later.

Goodell isn't likely to wait for a resolution, either, before making a move. He has said the league's personal conduct policy applies during the lockout and will be enforced when a collective bargaining agreement is reached.

SOPHOMORE JINX: The hardest year for a team to win is the year after it first wins. That has been a pattern for the Bucs. They had their modern-day breakout season in 1997 and retreated in '98 by going 8-8. They won Super Bowl XXXVII for the 2002 season, then fell to 7-9 in 2003.

Schedules are a major factor. Success brings more national television appearances, which this season means the Bucs playing the Colts on Monday Night Football at 8:30 Oct. 3, then traveling to San Francisco for a 4:15 p.m. game Oct. 9. It means playing Saturday night on the NFL Network against the Cowboys on Dec. 17 and losing a home game to travel to London to play the Bears on Oct. 23.

Playing on Sunday at 1 p.m. always is preferred, even though players crave the national spotlight. But Dominik understands the trappings of success.

"It was really exciting for us, and I want us to live up to it because I'd like to have more," he said of national TV games.

"I was excited that the league put us at 4:15 against Atlanta (on Sept. 25) to have a chance to have a Fox doubleheader game in a rivalry that's gone their way for the last two years. But also the fact (Fox) gave us these prime-time games at home for our season-ticket holders. … I think it's great. It speaks volumes of what we're trying to do here in Tampa."

Troubled Aqib Talib all but gone from Tampa Bay Buccaneers 04/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Who needs the NBA draft board? Certainly not the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.