It looked like it was going to be a quiet day in the NFL as the trade deadline approached at 4 PM. And it was; until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots got together for a deal involving cornerback Aqib Talib.
The Bucs traded the talented, but troubled Talib and a seventh-round to the Patriots for 2013 fourth-round pick.
This was a bold and brilliant move by Bucs general manager Mark Dominik, who talked about the trade after it was announced by the team.
"It's a decision that we felt like was in the best interest of our organization, what we wanted to do," said Dominik. It's been a – you know, the trade deadline every year comes and you look at it from different perspectives of whether you want to make a move to require a player, whether you're going to have an opportunity to trade a player. You know, the last I'd say 48-72 hours has been a lot of work on the phones talking to a lot of different clubs – everybody in the league – trying to find out what's going on in terms of things that we want to talk about and discuss. We felt, again, sitting down with Greg (Schiano) going through the whole process, we felt like this was the right move for our football team and what we want to do internally."
Listen, Talib may have been Tampa Bay's best cornerback, but it didn't need him moving forward. Talib, who was drafted No. 20 overall by the Bucs in 2008, has been nothing but a headache since coming to Tampa Bay and it was clear that he was no longer in the team's future plans. Once they realized that, the decision to ship him off to New England for a fourth-round selection was a no-brainer.
Talib leaves behind a memory of massive, but unfulfilled potential. As one league source told Buccaneers101.com during the offseason, "Talib has the skill set to be the best corner in football."
While that may be true, Talib never put it all together on the field and continued to act like a fool while off it. After his latest suspension for violating the NFL's PED policy by using Adderall without a prescription, Talib made it clear football was not his top priority. Because of that, he had to go.
Yes, the Bucs will have a hard time filling his spot in the starting lineup but they have done it before, and with good results. The Bucs are 7-6, including 2-1 in the last three games, without Talib since he joined the team in 2008.
The 26-year old Talib leaves the Bucs having amassed 18 interceptions, included three that he returned for touchdowns, along with 182 tackles, 53 passes defensed, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
The production the Bucs received from Talib when he was on the field was usually solid. But he became too much of a liability with his off-field antics and that is why the Bucs are better off for ridding themselves of Talib.
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