When Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the spring, there were reports that the Bucs would cut him as soon as the lockout ended. But Talib is at training camp with his teammates, and all indications are that the Bucs want him in their starting lineup when the regular season starts.
So why is Talib still in good standing? Talib told the Tampa Tribune that he has a strong relationship with Bucs head coach Raheem Morris and has given Morris a credible explanation of what happened during the incident in question.
“That’s my dog,” Talib said of Morris. “If anybody’s got the real true story of what happened, Rah does.”
For his part, Morris said he thinks the league will let Talib’s legal situation case reach its conclusion before deciding whether to suspend him under the personal-conduct policy.
“I know he’s got to go through a whole bunch of legal stuff,” Morris said, “but I don’t think anything will happen as far as the league. They usually wait to pass judgment until something happens legally first. Aqib’s ready to go. Aqib’s ready to play.”
Actually, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear that he doesn’t have to wait until a player is convicted before suspending him under the personal conduct policy — players have been suspended simply for being arrested, and Ben Roethlisberger was suspended simply for being accused, even though he was never arrested. So Talib isn’t necessarily in the clear with the league office.
But Talib is apparently in the clear as far as Morris is concerned. For all his off-field trouble, Talib still has the support of his head coach.