There has been a lot of doubt surrounding the future of Aqib Talib with the Buccaneers and a lot of that has to do with his off-field antics. Last year Talib was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and turned himself in shortly after a warrant was issued.
Now, almost a full year later we have resolution in his case as the state of Texas has dismissed all charges against the troubled cornerback meaning that if Roger Goodell sees it fit, Talib will be active for the Buccaneers season opener against the Panthers in September.
It appears that the reason Talib got off is that the state’s top witness is in jail at the moment as he is a repeat sex offender. Shannon Billings was the person Talib was accused of firing a gun at last year after Billings had a dispute with his girlfriend at the time who happened to be Talib’s sister.
“I guess the district attorney, in preparing for trial, had a chance to evaluate the case,” Talib’s attorney Frank Perez said. “The bottom line is that the complaintant is sitting in jail as a repeat child molester and has prior cases of the same nature.”
There is an interesting aspect to this situation that will be addressed increasingly as we near training camp. The Buccaneers wanted to trade Talib this offseason but because there was the very real possibility of a suspension from the NFL, the Bucs were having a hard time finding a serious suitor.
But now that a suspension looks highly unlikely with the dismissal of the charges, teams may now reinstate their interest in Talib who when healthy and trying his hardest is one of the best, if no the best cornerback in the NFC.
Greg Schiano is attempting to cleanse the Bucs of all of their previous issues and with his new regime of tough love and no second chances Talib’s presence flies in the face of that mind set. However given the lack of depth at the position and Talib’s obvious talent there is a possibility that Schiano makes an exception for Talib.
Either way, the charges against Talib — which were a massive black cloud over the Buccaneers offseason– have been dropped and the sunshine is finally breaking through the clouds. Now that we are past the most stressful part of Talib’s saga with the law the next chapter is what we need to focus on. The question now is will it be another in a long line of chapters or will this latest legal saga be the epilogue in Talib’s storybook career with the Bucs.