Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has admitted that he’s concerned about the legal issues facing cornerback Aqib Talib. But he may not need to be concerned any longer.
Talib’s lawyer, Frank Perez, told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that the charge against Talib for assault with a deadly weapon has been dismissed by prosecutors in Texas.
Talib had been scheduled to go on trial on June 25 in connection with an incident last year in which he was accused of shooting a gun at his sister’s ex-boyfriend. Talib’s mother was also charged in the incident. Assault with a deadly weapon is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
It’s unclear whether the NFL will discipline Talib for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy, but criminal charges being dropped doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in the clear as far as the league office is concerned. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear that he judges off-field incidents on his own and that he can impose discipline even if criminal charges aren’t filed. That’s exactly what Goodell did when he suspended Ben Roethlisberger for four games because he had been accused of sexual assault, even though neither of the sexual assault accusations against him led to an arrest or criminal charges, let alone a conviction.
Talib has already violated the league’s personal-conduct policy previously, when he was suspended for the first game of the 2010 season for slugging a cab driver. So the NFL won’t be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt this time around. So even though this is good news for Talib, he could still get some bad news from the league office.