Considering Roger Goodell’s recent history of handing down swift and harsh punishments to those players that violate the personal conduct policy, one would have to assume that Aqib Talib will face some sort of suspension for his repeated run-ins with the law. On Wednesday, the embattled Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback met with Goodell at NFL headquarters in New York to discuss the off-field trouble Talib found himself in this summer.
Talib was charged in March with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas. He already was suspended one game last season for an altercation he had with a taxi driver.
One league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the players could be in line for “lengthy” suspensions. However, Talib’s attorneys are convinced they have a sound defense that will appease the NFL and could help save their client.
At practice Wednesday, Talib wouldn’t go into specifics about his meeting with Goodell.
“We’ll keep all the details between me and the commissioner, if you can respect that,” Talib told reporters.
Because of his former first-round draft status and undeniable talent, the Bucs are likely apt to remain patient with Talib, even if he were in fact suspended for a considerable amount of time in 2011. But even if he is pardoned by Goodell or faces a suspension of only a handful of games, it’s safe to say that the former Kansas Jayhawks CB is on thin ice and likely out of chances with the Buccaneers organization moving forward.
To his credit, Talib has not let his uncertain standing distract him from preparing diligently for the season. His head coach, Raheem Morris, has been prepared with the personal growth of Talib:
“I watched him grow so much in this building (One Buc Place) in the last couple years, it’s ridiculous. It’s almost unfair when he’s in this building. He’s such a focused guy, such a uniquely talented guy. Keeping everyone in that defensive back room locked-in on the keys and what’s going on, and what premium opportunities you see. And a lot of that has to do with Aqib wanting to get interceptions, you know. So he’s going to know what exactly he can do, what he can jump on, and when he cannot jump. But that’s part of football. So, in this builidng, around us, the focus on football is what it is. That guy wants to be a double digit interceptions guy and that guy is going to do evverything in football to do those things and I dont think really anything is going to deter him from that,” Morris said.
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