ESPN's Adam Schefter reports:
Bucs traded CB Aqib Talib to New England.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2012
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the terms of the deal:
The trade details: CB Aqib Talib and a 2013 7th-round pick for a 2013 4th-round pick.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) November 1, 2012
Finally, ESPN's Andrew Brandt fills us in on Talib's contract situation:
Talib is making $1.852M - $109,000 a week.Contract expires after this season.Nine week look-see.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) November 1, 2012
So, now that we know the ins and outs of the trade, let's take a look at what Talib brings to the table.
Talib is undeniably talented.
He was a freshman starter at the University of Kasas, where he played for three years. During that time, Talib developed a reputation as a ball hawk, intercepting 11 passes in his final two seasons.
A coveted prospect, the Buccaneers drafted him with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft.
During his five seasons with the Bucs, Talib has intercepted 18 passes, but his play has been somewhat sporadic. His legal issues and off-field problems have also been a distraction in Tampa Bay, but the fact that he's never been cut should tell you how highly his skills are valued.
Talib has enough speed to keep up with most receivers on the edge, the size to make plays in the air—even against bigger wide receivers—and is a good press-man corner.
Now, on to the grades!
The Bucs sent Talib and a seventh-round pick in exchange for a fourth-round selection in next year's draft.
Given the fact that the team spent a first-round pick on him in the first place, this doesn't seem like much of a trade. But when you consider that Talib's production took a massive hit last season (only two interceptions) along with his latest suspension, it's clear that the Bucs made a good deal.
This team is still rebuilding—especially on defense—and the best way to build a sustainable winning team in the NFL is through the draft.
This trade makes sense for the Patriots. This team needs secondary help, and Talib can give it to them in the second half of the season and into the playoffs.
Bill Belichick has made moves like this before for players with a checkered past. He brought in Corey Dillon, Albert Haynesworth, Randy Moss and others with marks against them, and to this point in his career, Belichick's decisions have paid off more often than not.
From a financial standpoint, this is a fantastic deal for the Patriots. If Talib doesn't pan out, then the team isn't losing much. If he does become a productive player, then the Patriots will have the inside track to sign him to a long-term deal that won't break the bank.
Furthermore, knowing Belichick, he's going to end up getting his lost draft pick back soon, anyways.
Still, Talib isn't risk free. He hasn't been able to stay out of trouble throughout his career, and there's a chance that this deal ends up being a complete waste of two draft picks.