CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 10: Aqib Talib #25 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers steps in front of Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals to make an interception at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tampa Bay intercepted the Bengals on three occasions during a 24-21 win. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Aqib Talib's trial date has been set for March 26, 2012, so writes Rick Stroud. Talib has been charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon after an incident involving his sister's allegedly abusive boyfriend in March. Talib's attorney has consistently sounded very positive about the ultimate outcome of the trial, but that's what attorneys are for of course.
But the most notable thing about this trial date is that it is a month after the upcoming Super Bowl. This means that Talib will not be judged before the Bucs have completed their season, and Talib is thus likely to be available for the entire season. The NFL has the power to suspend Aqib Talib anyway, and Roger Goodell has shown that he will suspend people even without any convictions.
The NFLPA is likely to argue that the NFL should not be allowed to suspend players for any conduct during the lockout, although it's entirely unclear whether their arguments will be accepted by the NFL or codified in the new CBA. More importantly, though, Goodell has generally avoided handing out suspensions while the legal process has not concluded. And that process will not be concluded until after the season for Aqib Talib. This means that the star cornerback will more than likely be on the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season.