TAMPA- It’s going to be sad ending to a tragic stint in Tampa.
When the Bucs drafted Aqib Talib in 2008, they though they were getting the heir apparent to Ronde Barber’s legacy at the cornerback position. Instead they got a thug who was posing as an NFL player.
After his most recent run in with the law which saw a warrant be issued for his arrest, the Bucs are very much considering cutting Talib the moment the lockout is over. This is according to sources inside and outside the Buccaneers organization.
It’s still just speculation but after this third strike it appears Talib is out. Tampa has had no problem with taking troubled players onboard, but enough is simply enough.
Talib has been in trouble ever since being drafted out of Kansas at the 20th selection of the 2008 NFL Draft. He was involved in a fist fight with fellow Buccaneer Cory Boyd at the rookie symposium.
Then in 2009′ Talib made news by severely beating Tampa taxi cab driver and was subsequently arrested. Tampa chose not to suspend him and give him a second chance, but Roger Goodell decided a suspension of a game was necessary to get the young corners attention.
Apparently Talib didn’t get the memo or the message as he was involved in a shooting incident in Texas after the 2010 season. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he later surrendered to police. With the NFL having bigger fish to fry with the whole lockout ordeal, Talib’s issues have been put on the back burner but they have not been forgotten.
The first issue before what to do with Talib is to adress the elephant in the room: the guy clearly has deep and serious issues. He needs help and before he can be crucified, and I’m not saying he should be, his well being should be dealt with. ESPN’s Ron Jaworski is a strong advocate of Tampa cleaning up Talib rather than cutting him.
But Tampa has tried this for the past three years and it hasn’t worked which raises the dreaded question: should Tampa cut all ties with this distraction.
The guy may need serious help, but the NFL isn’t a rehab clinic, its a business and the business they’re in isn’t the one where you get tp your act cleaned up. Instead you get forgotten and the next guy fills your shoes. Talib’s shoes may be huge shoes to fill, but it appears the Bucs have reached their breaking point.
The tragic part of this is Talib is so extremely talented and you never want to let a player like that go. But as much as the NFL overlooks character issues in lue of talent, there comes a point where the talent is irreversibly overshadowed.
See Pacman Jones for the textbook way to ruin your career this way.
Talib may not be at that point yet, but he is flirting awfully close to the disaster line. As much as it will pain Bucs fans, it’s time to say goodbye to Talib. He will find another home in perhaps Baltimore or Oakland, places where you can literally get away with murder, but Tampa is a young team on the rise and they don’t need Talib weighing them down. The spotlight will be on Tampa this year and the organization will want that spotlight on Josh Freeman and the good, not Talib, Tanard Jackson and the awfully bad.
The number one sign that. The Bucs are moving on will be if they shoot high in the draft for a corner. They’ll be looking anyways as there is a need at the position, but that need got a heck of a lot more huge after Talib’s latest incident.
Tampa needs a replacement for Barber and need a lockdown elite corner for this growing defense. But they don’t need Talib if he’s going to be an off the field distraction.