Based on what Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said last week in his pre-draft press conference about philosophies he has stolen from the Jets with regards to stocking the roster with quality cornerbacks. One member of the local pen and mic club who was once referred to as Doctor Stroud by former general manager Bruce Allen believes the following quote means that Aqib Talib is all but gone from the Bucs.
“I’ve stolen this [philosophy] from the Jets because I like to take things that I believe from different organizations that are productive and can help a football team – you can never have enough cornerbacks. In the two years that I’ve been here we have drafted a cornerback in every [draft], and I don’t think you can have enough of them. It doesn’t affect me other than it reinforces my opinion that you can never have enough cornerbacks in the National Football League. We have right now eight selections and who knows where we are going to use any of them for what positions, but at the same point, that is a position that I am always going to put high on my priority list.”
“You have to take the draft as it comes to you and take advantage of the player that you think can best fit your football team – short term and long term. That won’t change regardless of a specific event or a specific person.”
Now let’s examine the league for a moment and fathom for just one second that for all intensive purposes that the league has become a passing first league, especially when you consider all the rules now in place to protect quarterbacks and receivers.
With that in mind and what Dominik said, Stroud set out – put his fingers to the keyboard and came up with the following conclusion based on the aforementioned quotes above.
TAMPA — Barring a last-minute change of heart — or perhaps his exoneration — the Bucs are expected to release troubled CB Aqib Talib.
Only the lockout, which prevents teams from making transactions, has prevented Tampa Bay from already cutting ties with its 2008 first-round draft pick.
Despite his talent as one of the few shutdown cornerbacks in the league, Talib has run out of chances, the Bucs believe.
As far as the Bucs are concerned, the outcome of the case won’t matter. They know Talib at the least faces a long league suspension.
The Bucs have reached a point where they believe Talib’s talent no longer justifies the trouble he generates. They believe it’s only a matter of time before he runs afoul of the rules again.
That’s why general manager Mark Dominik made it clear last week that the Bucs have altered their draft plans to include selecting a cornerback.
The Bucs don’t have to wait for the outcome of Talib’s case to make a move. They didn’t in October when former TE Jerramy Stevens was arrested on two felony marijuana possession charges; the team released him two days later.
Goodell isn’t likely to wait for a resolution, either, before making a move. He has said the league’s personal conduct policy applies during the lockout and will be enforced when a collective bargaining agreement is reached.
Based on what I’ve read and heard of the press conference Dominik did not publicly state at anytime during his press conference the Bucs are altering there draft plans, because of the still unfolding events surrounding Talib. What’s even worse is that Stroud a paid journalist and we are using journalist loosely here. Totally struck-out in his attempt to lead the masses in to believing that Talib’s fate with the organization has already been decided based on what Dominik said this past Thursday.
The kicker however, is that with a little research Stroud would have realized that under Dominik the Bucs have chosen at least one corner in the past two drafts. By using simple critical thinking skills. Stroud should have put everything together and realized that the likelihood of the Bucs selecting a corner was still pretty high even before the whole Talib situation came to light.
When you consider that Ronde Barber just signed a one-year deal and is in the twilight of his career – will most likely be retiring following the 2011 season. Couple that with the fact that following the 2011 season Talib has one-year remaining on his contract and the cupboard is not stocked with All-Pro’s behind either of those two and it would be a wise move to be targeting a mid-rounder at corner.
All of this is not to say Talib’s future with the team is not in doubt, just that what Stroud is basing his conclusion on is. There’s no question that the Bucs are going to have to make a tough decision when it comes to Talib’s future with the team. But since Dominik has taken over as general manager everything he has done. Has been a series of calculated steps with the idea of building a lasting contender in Tampa and this will be no different.