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August 5, 2011 @ 8:57 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

Morris Hopeful Talib Can Play Entire Season

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris doesn't expect that Aqib Talib's legal woes won't cost him part of this season.
Although Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib's aggravated assault charge remains unresolved in the court systems and he is scheduled to face a grand jury next spring, the Buccaneers' top defensive back could still face discipline from the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. As part of the ratified collective bargaining agreement, Goodell appears to have retained the right to discipline players for their conduct during the NFL’s 132-day lockout.

But at his Friday afternoon press conference Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris indicated he doesn’t expect anything to happen until the case is resolved. Talib’s trial is scheduled for March of 2012.

“I know you have to go through a whole bunch of legal stuff and all that jazz,” Morris said. “I don’t think anything will happen as far as the league. I don’t have any idea what is going on with the front office. I don’t mean our front office, the league office. They don’t usually pass judgment until something happens legally first. They do a great job up there handling those situations. I’m sure they will handle this situation no differently.”

While Morris remains hopeful he will have his star cornerback for the entire 2011 season, there is precedent for in-season suspensions prior to any convictions through the legal system. In 2007, Goodell suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones even while his legal woes were still unresolved. The NFL Players Association appealed the suspension based on the fact the charges were still pending and the union wrote a letter to Goodell stating the suspension "violates clearly established principles of employment and labor law. And that no player has ever been disciplined by the commissioner for conduct relating to criminal charges while they are pending."

In 2009, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended six games [reduced to four] for violating the league’s personal conduct policy over sexual assault allegations even though criminal charges were never brought against the quarterback.

Morris may be also basing his assessment on the fact Talib’s last suspension came only after lawyers for the former first-round pick and prosecutors reached a deal. Goodell handed down a one-game suspension, which cost Talib the season opener in 2010 even though he was arrested and charged with assaulting a cab driver on the final night of training camp in 2009.

– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
Last modified on Friday, 05 August 2011 21:23

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  • avatar

    I have been bashed by a couple of the "soundoffs" and they have their right to say what they want to. I also have my right too. Once again, he came to the scene with gun in hand and his or his mothers gun was discharged towards an unarmed man by Talib. Yes money and lawyers will make a difference and this so called innocent and hero for some of you is justified. Nuts to some of you. Most of you do not have a clue about someone firing a gun at you and everyone else in a particular area because they are angry and you are just an innocent victum at that scene and you should forgive the thug that fired the weapon? Many of you don't know crap. Okay Talib,I accept that you will get away with this. I am grateful that no one was injured. You have yet ever shown any type of remorse. I have to assume that you and a few others feel like it was a just event. Sad, sad, sad.
  • avatar

    If he gets suspended I hope it's before the season starts. At least give us time to work a game plan. But I hope he plays all year and he gets a trip to Hawaii!
  • avatar

    Assante Samuel. Let's trade Philly what they want and bring this guy in. If Talib somehow teflons his way out of this mess we have another good corner. If not, we don't have such a fall off in talent and experience.
  • avatar

    Please stop, the guy has a history of violence dating back to his college days, the rookie symposium, training camp, a cab driver, and now this. The NFL can suspend him for tarnishing the brand. I hope he's suspended at least 4 games and the eventually let go. Players have told me he deliberately breaks team and league rules knowing he'll get fined but doesnt care because of the money he makes. If this were Josh Freeman, i would agree that the league should wait but Talib has been given plenty of opportunities to grow up and yet he still ends up in these situations. You can take the boy out of the ghetto but you cant take the ghetto out of the boy. It's a shame because he is talented but his attitude is horrible. i'm not a fan of people who think their talent entitles them to a different set of rules than the rest of society.
  • avatar

    His mother is the felon. Something tells me before this is done , when the story comes out, she is the one who is going to take the fall.
  • avatar

    What a concept; allowing a person his day in court before building the gallows.
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