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November 1, 2012 @ 6:02 pm
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Pewter Report Reacts: Talib Shipped To New England

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers made a rare in-season trade on Thursday, trading cornerback Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots for a fourth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. What does Pewter Report think of the move? What kind of message does the move send inside the locker room? Find out in this Pewter Report Reacts column.
Heading into the NFL trade deadline at 4 p.m. on Thursday, many felt the Buccaneers could possibly be an active player. Trading cornerback Aqib Talib however, wasn’t really on anyone’s radar.

Early reaction to the trade from many Bucs fans across the internet and sports radio talk shows has been basically – why Talib? The majority of fans, and even the media, assumed running back LeGarrette Blount or tackle Jeremy Trueblood might be shipped off. Some hoped the Buccaneers would find a guard to try to negate some of the damage inflicted when Pro Bowler Carl Nicks was lost for the season after being placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Trading Talib, someone who plays a position of need in the pass-happy NFC South, has surprised many. But should it?

Bucs fans want their team to win now. That is understandable, but the fact is, this team is realistically looking to the future. Could the Buccaneers sneak in the playoffs this season as a wild card? Possibly, but the odds are slim – even had Nicks not went down with an injury – that the Buccaneers were going to qualify for the postseason.

Tampa Bay currently sits at 3-4 with nine games remaining. To safely earn a wild card spot a team would most likely need 10 wins. Where from the upcoming schedule do you see seven wins coming from? The Buccaneers have two games left with Atlanta, a road trip to New Orleans, a tough challenge this week against Oakland, a late season trip to Mile High to face Peyton Manning on the road, a game at Carolina plus the Chargers, Eagles and Rams at home.

Nothing is impossible, however, realistically looking ahead, to finish 7-2 doesn’t look easily attainable – at least on paper.

Another factor that went into the decision to trade the former Kansas star is that Talib is in the final year of his contract. PewterReport.com was told earlier this month by a Bucs source, the odds of the Buccaneers re-signing Talib after the 2012 season was about 20 percent.

Add in the laundry list of off the field transgressions (felony assault case in Texas, fights with teammates, assaulting a cab driver, and the latest – testing positive for Adderall) and the headaches became more of a distraction than the organization wanted to deal with. Before the latest suspension, all reports were that Talib did everything that new Bucs coach Greg Schiano and the organization has required and then some. But the latest screw up was just one more public relations nightmare that the franchise didn’t need.

PewterReport.com has always thought highly of Talib, and agree with most fans he has quite a bit of talent. But taking a look at the Buccaneers' record with and with Talib in the lineup is a little surprising.

Tampa Bay has a 1-3 record with Talib in the lineup in 2012, and are 2-1, including being just a couple plays in the New Orleans game away from being 3-0 without the cornerback. The Bucs also won their only game without him when he was suspended for the season opener in 2010 against the Cleveland Browns. So the Buccaneers are 3-1 during the course of games in which Talib was suspended.

Remember that Talib was in the starting lineup when the Giants Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks burned Talib and the Buccaneers for 510 passing yards in Week 2. Talib has always been branded a “shutdown” corner, but in his first four seasons has failed to stay on the field for an entire season for the most part, or even sniff a Pro Bowl.

To obtain a fourth-rounder for a player that had virtually no chance of being back next season looks like a pretty good deal for the Buccaneers at this point. General manager Mark Dominik seems to have gotten a steal with the fourth-round selection of Mike Williams in 2010, and while there is no guarantee that another Williams-type player will be drafted next April with the Patriots' pick, it beats not getting anything thing at all for Talib as he walks away into free agency.

With cornerback Eric Wright possibly facing the same four-game suspension for Adderall, according to FOX Sports Jay Glazer, Wright could be joining the likes of Talib, Brian Price, Kellen Winslow and Tanard Jackson as Buccaneers who found themselves escorted out of Tampa Bay. The trade of Talib, along with the decision to get rid of the above mentioned players, proves Tampa Bay isn’t afraid to take one step back, to move two steps forward.

Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2012 21:08

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  • avatar

    I just wish we could gotten some compensation for Talib now. That 4th and 7th round pick is not until next April, we are getting on a pretty good roll now, we don't need to derail the season now. Cornerback is our biggest weakness, we need all the help we can their. I just pray that Leonard Johnson and E J Biggers and company can play lights out football the rest of the way. I'm gonna trust the coaching staff and front office on this one.
  • avatar

    That said Talib wasn't coming back so to get a 4th rounder for him is ok. I hope they excercise some of the behavior clauses in Wright's contract and get rid of him. If Talib has to go and he had far superior production in the league then Wright should be putting his house on the market now. Sign Mike Jenkins in FA, draft Amerson from NC State and move on.
  • avatar

    This move wouldn't be so terrible if our best cornerback on the roster wasn't Eric Wright. I still believe that instead of flying Eric Wright to Tampa on Day 1 of FA it should have been Courtland Finnegan. Knowing that Talib had off field issues the solution shouldn't be surrounding him with more knuckle headed players like Mr. Wright whose suspension is currently pending. Courtland is a tough, hard-nosed player, one who hasn't had any problems off the field and seems to fit Schiano's mentality much more so than Wright. I think this move marks Domicks demise at the end of the season. Remeber back when Wright got signed Dominick said this was a player they targeted LAST YEAR in FA so this was definitely a Domick move. Bringing Nicks aboard was a no brainer, along with Jackson. But when you have the pick of the litter targeting Wright over Finnegan makes absolutely no sense.
  • avatar

    I think that the front office made a calculated decision not to pursue Finnegan. It's a safe guess that they probably had a good reason to think that his preference would be to either resign with TN or follow his former head coach with TN (Jeff Fisher) to his new home in St Louis. Finnegan and Fisher always liked each other. Especially with the offer Finnegan got from STL, it's a safe bet that we never stood a chance to sign him. I'm not saying that I like the idea of throwing $35 mil at Eric Wright (didn't really like the move when we made it), but saying that we should have chased Finnegan just to see him go to St. Louis (which he would have done even if we had matched that contract offer or slightly exceeded it) would have been a waste of time.
  • avatar

    Finally, that's frankly a poor analysis job of comparing our record with and without Talib over such a short period of time. Look at the teams we won against: The Browns, Vikings and Chiefs. Look at who was QB'ing those teams: Delhomme, Ponder and Quinn. Brees looked better than he had all season without Talib in the lineup this year. Yeah, I remember he was starting against the Giants this year. I also remember him shutting down the likes of Steve Smith, a faster Desean Jackson, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Marques Colston and held his own against Calvin Johnson. What does sniff a Pro Bowl mean exactly? He was definitely going to the Pro Bowl in 2010 before he got hurt. He had 6 INT's in 11 games and was leading the league in that stat for CB's until he got hurt, along with A. Samuel. I remember it because it was right around the time Pro Bowl voting started and I was pissed because I knew he wouldn't be able to play. At the rate he was going he would have had 9 INT's that year. How is that not "sniffing" a Pro Bowl?
  • avatar

    Now let's look at the rest of the season. How does New Orleans keep getting portrayed as the bully in our division who we're afraid is going to take our lunch money? We've split the games we've played against them the last 3 years with some pretty average or downright lousy teams. Two of those 3 wins were in New Orleans so why would I be worried about playing them there this year? Carolina, Chargers, Eagles and Rams? Those all look like wins to me, or at least they would have with Talib. I was looking forward to the game against Atlanta actually. Talib did well against J. Jones last year and I think the Bucs could have split the series with the Falcons.
  • avatar

    Now as for many of the points made in this article. How can you say at 3-4 that the Bucs had a slim possibility of making the postseason. Isn't that the point, to make the postseason? You play to WIN the game. All of them. We've been playing for the future since 2005. I for one would have been fine making the playoffs whether it was the #1 or #6 spot. It builds confidence in the team for the next season and beyond. It also helps to sell tickets and fire up the fan base.
  • avatar

    In a vacuum, I agree that I'd like to make the playoffs, but this isn't a vacuum. We still have major talent holes. While I always cheer for the Bucs to win every Sunday, I think that the best thing for the team would be to get the highest rated CB on the board in the draft. In order to do that, we'll have to pick in the top 15.
  • avatar

    Scubog, I agree 100% with your post in principle! This is simple addition by subtraction. This is a mild step back in the short-term, but could be a huge step forward long-term. And sentonp, according to most draft analyst the 2013 draft is deep at the CB position and 5 of them now have a 1st round grade - Dee milliner, Jonathan Banks, Xavier Rhodes, David Amerson, and possibly Jordan Poyer. Scubog, when I think of meeting Ryan (twice), Peyton Manning, and Brees again with E.J. Biggers starting in place of Talib, my teeth start to chatter!
  • avatar

    I have a problem with the case many of you are making. Scubog, I agree that getting 4th round compensation for a player you don't plan on bringing back is a good deal, but the problem is he should have been brought back. You don't have to wait until a player hits FA to offer him a new deal. They could have offered him a decent contract now to continue to be a Buc. I'm sure he would have taken it because being around Schiano has really turned him around according to PR. Plus, we could have worked behavior clauses into his contract to protect the team.
  • avatar

    My biggest issue with Talib was never his conduct (although, as we all know, that's always ben an issue, including this year). I've always disliked him because his play is highly overrated. We are a bad pass defense this year and were a bad pass defense last year with him as our "shutdown" corner. I can't recall off the top of my head the last time Talib walked off the field a victor after matching up with the #1 receiver of a good passing offense for 4 quarters. He guesses a lot, his technique is streaky, and for all of the talk of his ball skills, I can't even count the number of times a QB has thrown a ball up when his coverage was solid but the receiver caught the ball anyways. He's never been a true #1 CB. I have no problem letting him walk and watching some other team pay him better than Eric Wright next season only to watch him underperform his contract throughout. His character is a problem, but his play to this point in his career has been even worse. The numbers back that statement up.
  • avatar

    sentonp: The sacrifice of Talib is only for the remaining 8 games in which he could have played, not next season, because there is little chance he would remain even if given the opportunity. My guess is that he would have headed to Washington DC (and still may) when his contract runs out. Whether or not the choice made in the 4th round next year's draft is successful or not is moot. The fact is, Dominik and staff now have an extra opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise had. The whole draft is a crap shoot with hits and misses by all teams in all rounds. For a 4th rounder or later to earn a starting position is an accomplishment. On our little team we have quite a few that you failed to recognize. TE Luke Stocker, WR Mike Williams, OT Donald Penn, OT Demar Dotson, OG Jamon Meredith, DE Michael Bennett and CB E.J. Biggers and you could throw in PK Connor Barth. That's over a third of the starting line-up. Also consider that , as was the case in 2012, that pick could be used to move up in the draft. As I am told the cornerback position is very deep in the upcoming draft. Probably need to double-up.
  • avatar

    Are you really changing "the culture" here, or not? This move says you ARE.
  • avatar

    PewterReportMC, what are the chances that Ronde Barber moves back to corner and they start Ahmad Black at FS?
  • avatar

    Well Ronde isn't going back to corner. His career has been revitalized with this move. He's the best player in our defensive backfield as of right now. They're not gonna put him at corner where he's lost a step and set the team back overall.
  • avatar

    Mark, I'm sorry but for every Mike Williams there's a Myron Lewis, Kyle Moore, and Dre Moore. You don't create a hole to fill a whole. Just last week coach said " trust us on this one" and clearly we shouldn't have. Talib did have checked past, but didn't Pewter Report just do an article on him on how he turned his life around? This was a bad move by a usually wise Dominik. His talent will be missed and this all but assures we draft a corner in the first round instead of a badly needed right tackle. This is a VERY weak corner draft so let's all hope Millner is on the board for us.
  • avatar

    He had a checkered past AND a checkered career on the field!! Why is everyone acting like the Roddy Whites, Steve Smiths, and Hakeem Nicks's of the world EVER feared matching up with this guy? He has ALWAYS had more talent than production. Judging a CB purely by INTs is like judging a baseball pitcher purely by wins. Talib gets beat far more often than he wins. This guy wasn't Darrelle Revis, so let's stop acting like we just lost a key defensive player.
  • avatar

    what do we do horse? Enjoy the season and look forward to a better team next year. We don't have enough talent to have 4 of our best 10 players out on IR or now traded. 2 best Olinemen 1 best CB 1 Best DE This team will play hard and I will continue to enjoy watching this team lead by schiano
  • avatar

    Mark...unless Wright has committed a trangression that is not what we think it is....a violation of the steroid policy...there isn't anything which will allow him to be released without paying him. The Drug Policies outline specific penalties for violations and the clubs are not permitted to supersede or add to those penalties. I don't believe specific personal conduct clauses are permitted for players either beyond the standard contract.
  • avatar

    As I write in my Confidential, hopefully there are some behavior and conduct clauses in Wrights deal. Most likely there is. Of course we still dont know for sure if Wright is going to be suspended. He may be one who had a script for all we know.
  • avatar

    Horse I would suspect that they will allow guys like Leonard Johnson, Anthony Gaitor, Brandon McDonald and the other corners the chance to sink or swim. Let's see what they got. I still think you very well may see Larsen at center and Zuttah replacing Nicks before the season is over. Maybe there is another surprise guy like Meredith on the team. We will see.
  • avatar

    But wouldn't Eric Wright's new contract make it unlikely he is let go? I wonder about that.
  • avatar

    Okay, so where do we go from here? I hope that we all understand that just about every team will be attacking our CB's and we can expect to be in a pass defense just about every play from now on. One positive is that Bowers looks like he might be able to go full throttle in a couple games and David & Foster are playing like veterans. If McCoy, Bowers, Bennett, can keep pressure on the QB and we send that LB then we still have a fighting chance in every game. No question that Nicks hurts not being there and I am curious where Larsen fits in this new scheme. He's too small for the pound the rock thing and his pass protection is nothing dynamic so again what do we do? PewterReportMC, I would like your opinion on this subject.
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