Sep 11, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Aqib Talib (25) intercepts a pass and returns it 28 yards for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Could Trading Talib Ensure Claiborne’s Availability?


A lot of interesting chatter early on here during Draft week (by the way, happy Draft week!) about the possibility of the Buccaneers moving Aqib Talib on draft day. Obviously, at some point this offseason the Bucs were going to make a decision on the talented but oft-troubled young corner, so draft time seems like a decent place to do it.

Here’s the early information, Stephen Holder, amongst a myriad of other reporters have written that the Vikings frankly aren’t all that enamored with Matt Kalil at three. Kalil is a monster tackle out of USC and the Vikings have a pressing need on their line so it does make sense that they would want to address it, but they also have a need at corner and they’ve at the very least insinuated they could take LSU corner Morris Claiborne, the Bucs’ (assumed) preferred target.

Now “rumors” are beginning to come out that Tampa may be willing to deal Talib to the Vikings to better their odds of landing Claiborne with the fifth pick.

I have rumors in quotations because this is being reported on as news by some Bucs sites, and it may be good info for all I know, but draft week is also a notorious time for misinformation and with the advent of Twitter, everyone’s got a “source.”

Here’s my take, and let me preface by saying this is little more than an educated opinion: That’s baseless.

The only way that deal works under the rationale provided is if the teams swap first round picks and that’s never going to happen.

The Bucs aren’t assured they will get Claiborne at five even with the deal. The problem is the Browns reside at four and could either trade the pick to another team or grab Claiborne themselves. No NFL team is honestly going to ship a corner of that caliber, even with baggage, to another team and then spend ten minutes sitting in the war room with their fingers crossed that the move pays off.

What happens if Claiborne’s not there at five?

Then you just traded your best corner (probably not for much), your targeted guy is already gone and you have to decide whether to reach for another corner (because at five Kirkpatrick is a reach) or you just made your already beleaguered secondary a lot worse.

No, I’m sorry as much as it makes sense, if Talib ends up in Minnesota it will be because the Vikings put together a good package, not to ensure Morris Claiborne…

Food For Thought

Though think about it, if Mark Dominik could work his magic he might be able to pull of a real draft day doozie.

IF the Bucs could convince the Vikings to take Talib and swap first rounders (the Bucs would likely need to throw another pick in too) then Tampa holds the best pick in the draft. One and two are decided on, Luck and RG3 have known they were the picks for over a month. But three is wide open and any team looking to move up knows that’s the slot to do it.

If Mark Dominik could swap the picks, toss up a smoke screen with Cleveland and get Miami GM Jeff Ireland convinced that Ryan Tannehill may not make it to 8, you could likely get the Fish to give up a bunch in order to jump those five spots and snag him. That would be a coup for Tampa who would then be able to add a couple extra quality picks. You still roll the dice on the corners but hey, at this point we’re living in fantasy land anyway so why not. This is never going to happen.

The one saving grace, both GM Rick Spielman of the Vikes and Ireland have one thing in common, they both ran the Miami Dolphins franchise into the ground as their head personnel guy. Ireland is still doing it. That means there’s hope. Nobody breeds front office incompetence like the Miami Dolphins.

Hit the phones, Mark.

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Tags: Aqib Talib Bucs Draft Morris Claiborne NFL Trade Vikings