TAMPA — The Bucs are awaiting word from the NFL on whether or not they should begin preparing for their season opener against Detroit with or without superstar cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib is meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell today to see what his punishment will be for his alleged involvement in a shooting that took place during this summer’s lockout. Talib was arrested earlier this year after turning himself in on gun charges after shots were fired at a family gathering in March.
Talib turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
A league source has reported that Talib, along with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt, are facing ‘lengthy’ suspensions. Attorney’s for Talib, however, state they feel they have enough evidence to present a sound defense that Talib is innocent of the charges against him.
If Talib is suspended, it wouldn’t be the first time Roger Goodell has slapped him on the wrists. Talib missed the Bucs season opener last year after violently assaulting a taxi cab driver. He was arrested by the Florida State Highway Patrol and handed a one game suspension by the league. Talib reached a monetary settlement with the victim and has since improved his character from that embarrassing incident.
However, if Talib is suspended for a large portion of the 2011 season for the assault charges against him this time, it will be truly heartbreaking to see him take a step back in his progress. The league doesn’t view gun charges or assault charges lightly. Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg two years ago and received prison time and a short-term(albeit unavoidable) ban from the NFL. Gifted, yet incredibly troubled cornerback Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones has had numerous run-ins with the law and could probably write a book about how the NFL’s Player Conduct policy hands down suspensions.
In the meantime, Bucs fans can take solace in the words of Talib’s attorney’s that they have a sound defense case that will satisfy the NFL and avoid suspension for Tampa’s best corner. It’s a wait, however, that Bucs fans are all to accustom to.