11-01-2012, 06:31 PM
NFL fans and observers expecting an anti-climactic trade deadline received a surprising jolt when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they had traded cornerback Aqib Talib and a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, which they had acquired from the Chicago Bears, to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2013. A 2008 first-round pick out of Kansas, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Talib had 182 tackles and 18 interceptions in 45 career games with the Buccaneers. In four games this season, Talib had 21 tackles and an interception while playing in 270 of the team's 272 defensive snaps before he was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. Specifically, Talib tested positive for Adderall. Talib's suspension was slated to end on Nov. 5, but may extend for another week as the Patriots are on their bye this week. Talib is earning $1,852,500, which means the Patriots will be on the hook for the prorated portion ($871,765, 8/17ths of his salary) for the remainder of the season. New England's secondary has been a source of frustration this season, with the Patriots allowing 281.1 yards per game, which ranks 28th in the NFL. The Patriots lost 2011 second round pick Ras-I Dowling to a thigh injury and safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory have both missed time recently with injuries. Even when healthy, Chung has struggled with consistency. The move to acquire Talib could meana permanent move to safety for 2010 first round pick Devin McCourty, who had seven interceptions and went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie cornerback, but has rarely flashed that same play-making ability in the two seasons since. McCourty has played more safety with the injuries to Chung and Gregory.