A skilled cover man with good size (6'2", 202 lbs), Talib has been a productive player throughout his five-year career, logging 19 interceptions and 56 defended passes in his 64 career games.
In addition, the Patriots knew Talib could well be a half-season rental, though the team wanted to re-sign him for the 2013 season, and now they've done just that.
By all accounts, Talib's insertion into the Patriots lineup was a success last season.
In his six games with New England, the Patriots featured a stingier pass defense, during which time Talib intercepted one pass and returned it for a touchdown. He even received high praise from head coach Bill Belichick, via ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss:
He’s a good football player, good teammate [and] he’s very well respected because of his professionalism. He studies hard and prepares well. He’s tough. He competes well, both in practice and on Sundays. ... He’s certainly made us a better football team.
Talib doesn't come without some risk, though.
In addition to his four-game suspension in 2012, he has gotten into trouble multiple times throughout his career, as detailed by TampaBay.com's Stephen Holder.
His rap sheet is extensive:
- A reported fight with fellow rookie Cory Boyd at the 2008 NFL rookie symposium.
- Arrest and subsequent one-game suspension for simple battery and resisting arrest in 2009.
- An incident with a gun in 2011 in which he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon—a charge that was later dropped.
Nevertheless, Talib's talent as a player continues to outweigh any character concerns teams may have. As long as he continues to produce on the field and learns to stay out of trouble off it, he'll continue to be a valuable player for the Patriots.
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