The lockout means that players who may require ongoing attention from their teams in order to keep them out of trouble won’t have that support. Which means that those players could be more likely to get into trouble.
Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib, whom coach Raheem Morris once called a “wild child,” fits the profile. And Talib soon could be fitting into a jail cell.
The Dallas Observer reports that the Garland, Texas police department has labeled Talib as a “person of interest” in a March 21 shooting. Per the report, five shots were fired from two guns after an altercation involving Talib’s sister, his mother, and his sister’s boyfriend.
Talib could be charged with discharging a firearm in a municipality (a misdemeanor) to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (a felony), or anything in between.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Garland Police Department administration supervisor Captain Patrick McCulley told the Observer. “But I can confirm that Mr. Talib is a person of interest in the case.”
The details aren’t clear, but according to the incident report Aqib Talib and his mother are both suspected of firing shots at Shannon Billings, the boyfriend of Talib’s sister, as Billings ran from them.
Aqib Talib allegedly pulled out a gun while trying to strike Billings. Talib dropped the gun, Billings picked it up and took off running, and Talib’s mother pull out her own gun and fired three shots at Billings. Aqib then allegedly grabbed the gun from his mother and fired two shots of his own.
At the risk of crossing into the melodramatic, this lockout needs to end before a player with real needs for counseling and/or oversight and/or a direct line of communication to his head coach gets into real trouble, or even worse gets killed.
That’s not directed at the league or the players. It’s directed at both sides, and it provides them with a very tangible reason for getting this deal done, now.