Published November 20, 2014
Aqib Talib's often-turbulent 4 1/2-year tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came to an end on Thursday, with the team sending the talented cornerback to the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2013 fourth-round draft choice just prior to the NFL's trade deadline.
The Patriots will also receive a seventh-round pick in next year's draft.
Talib has recorded 18 interceptions and returned four for touchdowns over 58 games since entering the league as the 20th overall pick of the 2008 draft, but his career has been marred by a flurry of off-field problems as well. The 26-year-old is currently serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, which he revealed to be the drug Adderall.
The Kansas product was also indicted by a Texas grand jury in March of 2011 for felony assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly firing a gun at his sister's boyfriend, though those charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Talib was also arrested by Florida police in 2009 following a confrontation with a taxi driver and fought with a former Buccaneers teammate during the NFL's Rookie Symposium during his first year in the league.
The Patriots haven't strayed from obtaining players with character concerns in the past, notably bringing in troublesome defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and colorful wide receiver Chad Ochocinco prior to the 2011 season, and do have a need for reinforcements to a problematic secondary. New England has allowed an average of 281.1 passing yards over its first eight games, which ranks 28th in the league.
Talib had compiled 21 tackles, one interception and seven passes defensed in four games prior to his present ban. His 17 picks heading into this season were tied for seventh-most in the NFL since 2008.
New England has a Week 9 bye before returning to action against Buffalo on Nov. 11, though Talib won't be eligible to play in that contest due to his current suspension. He will be able to participate in the Patriots' matchup against Indianapolis the following week.