The Buccaneers may have serious interest in LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, but, according to their head coach, that doesn’t mean they are trying to trade Aqib Talib.
Greg Schiano responded to a report from Wednesday morning that the team was looking to deal Talib in exchange for a pick or picks in next week’s draft. He told the Tampa Bay Times that there’s nothing to it.
“All I can tell you is that there is absolutely zero thinking on our part as far as wanting to do that,” Schiano said. “I want him to be a Buc. I understand there’s been issues before I arrived. I’m not naive to that. And I understand that some of those are a heck of a lot bigger than playing football. But I am really hopeful that that clears itself up. Since I met him for the first time, he’s done everything I’ve asked. He’s practiced well and he’s prepared well. I try not to judge people other than (by) how they treat me, and he’s treated me well. I don’t know how all that got started, but no, there’s no truth to that.”
It’s a strong denial, especially since there’s been a lot of focus on clearing out players with character issues since Schiano came to Tampa. It could be an attempt to drive up the price in a trade, of course, but the truth remains that trading Talib is problematic on two fronts.
The first is the trial for aggravated assault that starts at the end of June, leaving his availability for the 2012 season in some doubt, and the second is the impact that uncertainty will have on the return in a trade. Troubled or not, Talib is a talented player who was a first-round pick just a few years ago. The Bucs wouldn’t get anything close to that in a deal and might be better off rolling the dice on Talib’s availability as they try to rebound from a rough 2011 season.