Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the Bucs will part ways with corner Aqib Talib once league business resumes. The Times reporter doesn’t cite any sources or even allude to any conversations with the personnel in the organization, he makes the assumption on the basis of a comment Mark Dominik made a couple weeks ago. Rather, he bases it on his perception of a comment made a couple of weeks ago.
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.
First of all, that’s not exactly how Dominik made the point in the press conference, but forgiving that, the Bucs have always been very judicious in their handling of off-the-field issues. They’re not going to rush to judgment or make some knee-jerk reaction before they have all the facts. Especially when Talib’s own attorney is publicly stating he expects to take the argument to the grand jury have this all thrown out before he’s even indicted. Talib is arguing he never fired a gun.
Regardless of whether Talib is in the Bucs’ long-terms plans, with the lack of free agency and the lack of viable potential starters at that position in the draft, Talib is kind of important. The Bucs may hope to move on in a year or two when Talib’s contract is up, but you also don’t win by putting a gaping hole in your roster for the sake of principle either. Everyone points to Bill Belichick jettisoning Randy Moss, but he was on the decline, the team still had another All-Pro receiver and Tom Brady won three Super Bowls throwing to Deion Branch and a bunch of pedestrians. The Bucs are going to be judicious and smart about this, no decision is going to be made until they even know if the case proceeds.