The Pewter Report brings us word this morning that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put starting CB Aqib Talib on the trade block. He is facing an aggravated assault trial in June and a potential suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of that trial, so interest could be lukewarm in the former first-round pick.
Talib has shutdown corner ability and aggressiveness, and he sometimes plays up to that level, but he has also gotten banged up each of the last two years. Cornerback might be the premium non-quarterback position, so the question becomes whether a team would tolerate Talib's character issues to have him for the last year of his rookie deal...even though that year could be reduced by a league suspension?
A sixth or seventh round pick is not a precious commodity and Talib's new team could try to leverage the black cloud over his head into a new lease on NFL life. At that price, the PR hit for adding a known character risk almost equals the main cost of adding Talib.
Most sixth- or seventh-round picks don't make the team and many teams are just as happy to have the extra spots to sign undrafted free agents.
The Eagles have to be dismayed that Talib is on the market, as he provides a much cheaper alternative to their available cornerback, Asante Samuel, both in terms of salary (Talib is due $1.85 million, Samuel over $9 million, although he said he is willing to take up to a $2.5 million pay cut) and the likely draft pick necessary to secure his services.
The Buccaneers should be willing to deal Talib for a late pick if they can draft Claiborne or another projected starter in the second round, and I wouldn't fault a team like the Patriots or Lions for spending a late pick to add him.