Aqib Talib Has Charges Dropped, but Character Concerns Remain

J.J. RodriguezContributor IIJune 20, 2012

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Cornerback Aquib Talib of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates after intercepting the ball and running it back for a 28 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions September 11, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Aqib Talib has been in this situation before. 

New head coach, new situation and a clean slate to work with. A do-over, a mulligan, if you will. 

Yet somehow, some way, he always seems to find himself back in the headlines for off-the-field transgressions and worse yet, back into the commissioner's office trying to explain away his latest fiasco.

By now I'm sure you've heard that charges against Talib were dropped by prosecutors in Texas on Monday, due in large part because of concerns over the credibility of its star witness.

And while it is certainly good news for Talib and the Bucs that jail time will be avoided, serious questions remain over whether or not Talib is a long-term fit for not only the Tampa Bay organization, but any organization, period.

Talib is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to become a free agent at season's end. But given the numerous run-ins and major character concerns that have followed him wherever he has gone, how many other teams will truly be willing to risk tens of millions of dollars on him?

Heck, how many millions will the Bucs be willing to risk on him?

Look, I am not questioning his talent or his production, because truth be told, he is loaded with both. The bigger issue is that his professional resume is only overshadowed by his rap sheet, and that is sadly what has come to define Talib up to this point in his career.

Whether it was fighting with a teammate at the rookie symposium, beating a teammate with his helmet during practice or allegedly punching a cab driver in the late night hours in Tampa, Talib has brought more than his fair share of unwanted publicity upon himself and the franchise.

Can his career be salvaged and turned around before he exiles himself from the game? Possibly. After all, he is only 26 years of age.

But while he has youth in his corner, he does not have time on his side.

If Talib intends on enjoying a long and fruitful career in the NFL, not to mention cashing in at season's end, he literally cannot afford to bring anymore unnecessary attention onto himself.

No traffic stops, bar fights and for God's sake, stay away from the shooting range or cab drivers.

Focus on football and let the rest take care of itself.

Because when it comes down to it, failing to fully realize the talent he possesses would be unfortunate.

Oh, and a crime.

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