I guess Gagnon is free to go on his typical Gagnon rant now. Wait, he kind of, sort of already did.
Aqib Talib surrendered Wednesday afternoon after police obtained a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback spent about two hours getting fingerprinted, booked, and posing for his mugshot. He was later released on a $25,000 bond, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Talib and his mother Okolo have now been charged as a result of a police report detailing the events of a domestic disturbance on March 21. Both Aqib and Okolo allegedly shot at Shannon Billings, the boyfriend of Aqib’s sister. Billings wasn’t hit by the gunfire.
This whole situation is messy and grimy, and it could result in Talib’s time as a Buccaneer coming to an end. Just three years ago Tampa Bay invested a first round pick (20th overall) in Talib, and now their confidence in his character will clearly take a nose dive. In a stubborn move the league has also said the personal conduct policy applies despite the lockout, so regardless of the legal ruling Talib could still face the long arm of Goodell’s law when the lockout ends.
Combine this incident with Talib’s failed drug tests prior to the draft, his fight at the rookie symposium, his minicamp tussle in 2009, and an attack on a cab driver, and Talib has more red flags than a store that sells only red flags. Instead of touting him as a premier player with tremendous coverage ability and 15 interceptions over three seasons, Tampa fans are lamenting Talib becoming yet another reason why NFL teams hire private investigators to dig into the lives and backgrounds of early draft picks.
The Bucs hold the 20th overall pick again next month, and Talib’s pending legal mess could result in a change in draft strategy. Taking a cornerback in the first round may not be ideal, with the top two players at the position–Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara–long gone. It may also be a touch too early to tab either Aaron Williams or Jimmy Smith, so waiting until the second round could be the better option. Tampa Bay holds the 51st overall pick, and Curtis Brown–the other cornerback from Texas opposite Williams who’s projected for the second round–has scheduled a visit with the Bucs.
The other obvious option is pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha when free agency finally begins. Tampa could afford to pay the four-time Pro Bowler’s steep price because the organization has one of the lowest payrolls in the NFL.