Is Aqib Talib Really Done With The Buccaneers?

Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times certainly seems to think he so. He claims the Bucs are expected to release Talib, barring a last-minute change of heart. We can't know how solid his inside sources are, and the word choice of "are expected to" instead of something more definite may say something in this regard. At the same time, Stroud is not known for posting baseless rumors and has often been right in the past. Stroud's colleague Stephen Holder defends him in the comments section of the story, and obviously both Stroud and Holder have access to people inside the building. Despite that, I remain skeptical. Other outlets, including Pewter Report who are reliable and have their own sources, have said that the Bucs are planning on keeping Talib for at least the short term. We can't and won't know the real truth until the Bucs do make a public decision, and in truth the people inside the building may not know yet themselves. 

There is one thing I am convinced of: outright cutting Talib would be a horrible decision. He's a premier cornerback in the NFL with a lot of talent, and a relatively cheap two-year contract. He's perfectly fit to be traded away because of that, and to just cut him without any compensation would be a waste of a good opportunity. And yes, even if everyone knows they're going to cut Talib he still has trade value, because a team can buy his services for draft picks instead of money in free agency. The Steelers did something similar in the previous offseason. When Santonio Holmes got into trouble twice in a short period of time, they traded him to the New York Jets for a fifth-round pick. Everyone was stunned at the low trade value, but it was driven down by two things: a 4-game suspension and the fact that he had just one year remaining on his contract. Still, the trade value seemed preposterously low, but in retrospect it seems obvious that the Steelers were trying to squeeze a little value out of someone they were going to cut anyway. That's exactly what the Bucs need to do if they're intent on cutting ties with Talib. 

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