In a recent St. Petersburg Times article, Aqib Talib's attorney Frank Perez claims that it could be a very long time before a trial will actually take place. "Right now, if I requested a trial, it would be late November at the earliest and most likely it would be next year," said the Dallas attorney. He hasn't requested a trial yet, but will likely do so at the end of the month.
Talib and his attorney feel very confident that they're going to prevail in a court of law. "We feel very, very strongly Aqib is going to prevail in this," said Perez. "There's nothing to this case. I can't tell you now, but I'm confident we've got something that's going to turn the tide of public opinion."
All of that sounds like good news for Talib, but it is of course his lawyer saying this, so take it all with a grain of salt. Still, it's starting to look like this case won't be resolved until after the season. Roger Goodell has usually waited for the legal process to come to a conclusion before punishing players, and this is likely to be to the Bucs' advantage. Aqib Talib is likely to be available for the 2011 Season, and when asked about punishment they can simply say they're waiting for the legal process or Goodell before they take any action.
And having Aqib Talib would be very important for the Bucs' defense. None of the defensive backs on the roster are as good as Talib at this time, and he adds a special element to the pass defense. Without him, the Bucs will struggle to stop quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. And they will have to stop them if they want to make it to the playoffs this time.
However, we shouldn't oversell his skills. Aqib Talib has the ability to be a top cornerback, but got burned for gambling too much a couple of times last season. He improved on that as the season went on, but he hasn't been a shutdown cornerback so far. But he is a playmaker with the ability to change a game, and the fact that he's been present at most offseason workouts is a good sign. The Bucs will be better with Talib, and the backlog in the Dallas justice system is helping him stay on the field - for now, at least.