Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Nov 2012

Bucs Deal Aqib Talib to Patriots

Did the Patriots just trade (probably) a low-round draft pick for a talented but troubled player? That never happens. This fits a need, but we'll see how Talib fits into their scheme. His charting numbers have been good. Top ten in both success rate and yards/pass in 2011 in 13 games. In a full season in 2010, 24th in success rate and 59th in yards/pass. Talib is currently finishing a four-game drug suspension and probably can't play until Week 11 against Indianapolis.

UPDATE: The trade is New England's fourth in 2013 for Talib and a seventh in 2013. The Pats now have just five 2013 picks, having previously dealt their fifth and sixth for Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 01 Nov 2012

51 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2012, 5:06pm by dryheat


by Independent George :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 4:29pm

Does he fit the Pats scheme? Then again, I suppose the current CBs don't fit the Pats scheme (assuming their scheme isn't to just stand around while the opposing receivers run past them).

by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:10pm

Belichick has had success with a number of different styles of corner over the years. That said, he generally seems to prefer bigger, more physical corners (Ty Law, Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling), and Talib fits that bill.

by theslothook :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 4:32pm

Im just baffled at the bucs doing this. Talk about getting pennies on the dollar for a valuable asset

by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:11pm

A guy with major off-the-field issues who is a free agent after the season? If the Bucs had already decided that he wasn't worth re-signing, it's kind of amazing that they got anything for him.

by JonFrum :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 8:02pm

Fans in Tampa are dancing in the streets. He's a multiple offender. They would have cut him if they didn't get anything for him. Instead, they get a draft pick that could contribute to their depth. I'd rather have that than a guy who's name is associated with the words 'pistol-whipping.' The guy is a career turd. And this is coming from a Patriots fan who's desperate for improvement in a pathetic defensive backfield. This is a panic move by Belichick, and it rests on his head.

by Guest789 :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 4:40pm

If this is any lower than a 3rd round pick I can't see any justification for Tampa pulling the trigger. Even a third seems a little cheap for a starting corner.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 4:51pm

Let's see . . . Tampa has now lost their two best offensive linemen (Davin Joseph and Nicks) for the year, their best DE (Clayborn) for the year, their other potentially good DE (Bowers) is just coming back now, and now Talib (an inconsistent guy who can be extremely good) is gone. Oh, plus Eric Wright is probably headed off to his own suspension shortly.

Did Gerald McCoy somehow pass his "be out for the year" curse on to the rest of the team? Did Ronde Barber run over some old gypsy woman in the parking lot during training camp?

by Dean :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 4:52pm

I wonder if the Bucs know something the rest of the world doesn't about his off the field behavior? Or just how bad is he in the locker room?

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 4:54pm

Could be that the Bucs are just tired of the suspensions and so on, he's been in trouble before. Still, this has to be a good deal for the Patriots. If everyone was healthy, it would allow them to play Chung and McCourty at safety and Talib and Arrington on the outside. Of course, knowing Belichick he'll probably convert Talib into a linebacker...

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:00pm

Schiano seems to have a short leash, and Talib has screwed up too many times. That being said, Talib is very talented but wildly inconsistent, and seems like the kind of guy who would drive Belichick insane due to that. Talib will absolutely shut down a WR one week, and the next get blown off the field.

by Independent George :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:24pm

True, but I have to imagine Belichick was being driven even more insane by getting blown off the field every week.

by Fredly (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 8:06pm

Uhh, what? The pats have three losses by a combined four points and lead the league in point differential...

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 8:49pm

He meant the CBs, not the team as a whole. Unless you want to claim their corners have been covering well?

by RickD :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 9:51pm

Don't forget the safeties! They've been arguably worse than the corners.

by Nathan :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 7:04pm

Yeah I mean, as a Pats fan, I will gladly take a guy who can shut an opposing WR down 8 weeks out of the year.

by RickD :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 9:55pm

Belichick won't be driven crazy. If Talib acts up, he'll be gone two days later.

And that's only if the team takes a day off.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 9:47am

Frankly, I'd rather see Wilson at Safety than Chung.

Chung is a very large part of the patriots issues with pass coverage. He's simply terrible. Wilson atleast has some upside.

by RedDog (not verified) :: Sat, 11/03/2012 - 1:22pm

Chung is the best safety they have ... while Tavin Wilson has given up his share of big plays due to rookie mistakes.

When Chung plays, the defense improves quite significantly statistically.

Chung is the best DB the Pats have.

by NewEng (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:00pm

Talib would be a free agent at the end of the year

by PatsFan :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:09pm

According to the TB twitter feed:

"The trade details: CB Aqib Talib and a 2013 7th-round pick for a 2013 4th-round pick."

by Zieg (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 8:54am

Right. The "Update" above says the pats are giving up a 4th and a 7th but what I've read elsewhere is they traded a 4th for a 7th and Talib.

by dryheat :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 5:40pm

Huge character questions, so huge that the Patriots had him off their draft board when he came out. That being said, he should know that he needs to produce and keep out of trouble if he wants to cash in as a free agent. If he doesn't know this, Belichick will inform him. Belichick won't be re-signing him, so for him it's merely a matterof surrendering a fourth-round pick for a player that can help the team win this year.

by Taking A Knee w... :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 12:39am

Belichick won't be re-signing him

That's some pretty wild speculation, what are you basing that on? As long as we're making stuff up, I'd have guessed the fact that they paid so much for him implies they'd like to re-sign him long-term, if his behavior and performance allow them to.

by dryheat :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 8:23am

Wild speculation? Making stuff up? I'm basing it on Belichick's history of not giving out lots of money to proven thugs, and Bob Kraft's history of not wanting delinquents on the team, and Talib's history of entitlement and the opportunity of hitting unrestricted free agency.

Unless you think that in four months three leopards are going to change their spots -- mostly notably Talib, who would only be offered, if anything, a minimal-if-not-zero guaranteed, team friendly deal that would make it very easy for Belichick to cut him. I don't think Talib, nor his agent, would be keen on that. If I'm wrong, and Talib feels that being in Foxboro is good for him despite lesser earnings, it would be the first sign of maturity he's shown since sprouting hair on his peaches.

This is really no different than Asante Samuel's last year. Belchick knew he wasn't going to re-sign him, so he promised not to franchise him because he knew that he wasn't going to the Super Bowl without Samuel. The Patriots have drafted 40 players in the last 4 years....a fourth-round pick seems like a low cost to give the Patriots an improved chance of getting through the morass of the AFC.

by RC (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 9:51am

"I'm basing it on Belichick's history of not giving out lots of money to proven thugs, and Bob Kraft's history of not wanting delinquents on the team,"

People love to repeat this stuff, but its absolute tripe. Belichick has given plenty of money to "thugs". Frankly, hes made a decent part of his reputation out of going after guys with character issues (dillon, Moss, etc)

by dryheat :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 10:58am

Not true. Dillon and Moss were both underpaid well below their standing. Another commonality is that Moss, Dillon, Haynesworth, Talib, were all on the last year of their contract (or modified the contract to make it so) when they initially joined the team, so there was no signing bonus to account for. Even after Moss had a record-breaking season, he only got a deal worth $15 million guaranteed. Dillon set the franchise single-season record for rushing on the way to a Championship and got a 2 year deal worth $10 million guaranteed.

I think Talib's the biggest turd in the NFL. But I think he'll be properly motivated to behave. But I feel certain that it will be another GM who will reward that four months of good behavior.

by RickD :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 11:37am

"I think Talib's the biggest turd in the NFL."

Adam "Pacman" Jones is still in the NFL.

It's a bit silly to get into a "biggest turd" competition, I know. (Should we compare them by Courics?)

Reportedly, Adam Jones isn't as prone to getting into trouble as he was five years ago.

Well, we'll see. Corey Dillon was never a problem in New England. Randy Moss was very productive. OTOH, Haynesworth never got in shape and Ocho Cinco never learned the playbook. It's a low-risk move for the Pats.

by Stew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 3:11pm

After that record breaking season, Moss hit Free Agency, and still signed with the Patriots for a 3 year 27 million dollar deal. You can call it underpaid but it was more than any other team offered him... that sounds like a market deal to me.

Again, Dillon was an aging running back. He got what anyone would have given him, the team wanted him back because he played well and kept his head on. The same will be the case with Talib. If he plays well and doesn't do anything stupid before FA, he could get offered an extension. The fact is that the Patriots very reasonably scale back their valuation of a guy if he's got red flags, but so do a lot of teams. We took Ryan Mallett, a first round talent, in the 3rd, but 31 other teams were willing to let him fall further. We drafted Alfonzo Dennard in the 7th, an early round talent, because everyone else took him off their board. Belichick has a dollar value on everyone, he doesn't ignore off field issues for a talented player but he doesn't ignore a talented player for off-field stuff either.

by dryheat :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 4:19pm

I think it was clearly reported that Moss turned down more money from the at least the Eagles to re-sign with the Patriots, but again, he was only guaranteed 15 million on a 3 year deal. For a guy who's on the short list of greatest WRs ever, and just came off a record-breaking season, that's fairly ridiculous. He was only going to get the 27 million if he remained productive and a good citizen. As far as Mallett and Dennard go, OK, I agree with you, but that's really irrelevant to the point, as neither one have a significant finacial commitment from the Patriots.

Could the Patriots offer a similar contract to Talib as they did Moss (minimal guaranteed money, heavy incentive)? Sure. I just don't think Talib nor his agent is interested in doing that on his first visit to unrestricted free agency, and I think there will be a decent market for him for coaches who aren't shy about taking a gamble on their ability to reach a guy who was previously unreachable (Marvin Lewis, Lovie Smith)or a GM who's GMing for his job (AJ Smith, Heckert, Pioli) and willing to overlook certain flaws in the name of improving the team.

by RedDog (not verified) :: Sat, 11/03/2012 - 1:31pm

I disagree with dryheat ... the patriots have given plenty of money (I am not including Moss and Dillon in this list ... Moss does not have any character issues and Dillon, I can't tell ... probably, since they did not bring him back when they needed a downhill runner and preferred to eat the cap penalty) to players with known issues, and more than once it did not work out. Guys like Ojinnaka, Ochocinco, Talib, Haynesworth come to mind, and I am sure I am missing some (probably even Bodden). And it surely did not work out most of the cases.

So, Belichick may or may not be a genius, he has had his share of misses.

by dryheat :: Sat, 11/03/2012 - 8:19pm

The only guy who made decent money in Foxboro is Ocho....and he wasn't a character risk. He waited until after he retired to turd it up. My point isn't that BB stays away from those guys, it's that he takes very little risk in seeing if they can contribute.

Corey Dillon didn't have a cap penalty, I don't think. I believe he retired.

by RedDog (not verified) :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 1:32pm

Dillon did get cut, they had a severe cap hit since they gave him too big of an extension, and when they were stuck with Maroney and needed a capable back, they did not bring him in.

BB is a very good coach and GM, but he has made his share of boneheaded decisions, including completely messing up locker room chemistry three and a half years ago (the season they got clobbered by the Ravens in the playoffs and quit on the game in the first half).

Nobody bats 1.000, but people constantly saying Belichick gets nearly everything right anger me.

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 5:24pm

To call Dillon and Moss 'thugs' is just plain idiotic. Dillon had legitimate complaints about playing for a team with incompetent management. Moss may be immature but he hasn't been involved on violence the way Talib has been. Haynesworth was a discipline problem, but even he was never involved in off-field violent crime.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 5:42pm

Haynesworth stomped on a player's face on the field, and, off the field, was charged with fondling a waitress (not violent, but dicey nonetheless), punched somebody in the face during an accident, and almost killed somebody driving like a maniac. I think I'd take Talib from a character perspective way before I'd take Haynesworth.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 11/03/2012 - 5:44pm

Talib got into fist fights with teammates was arrested for beating a taxi driver, and for threatening someone with a gun (yes, I know the last charge was dropped), in addition to this drug charge. Yeah, he's a saint compared to Haynesworth. But I really objected more to seeing Dillon and Moss lumped together with Talib.

by @MichaelEdits :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 6:11pm

I guess it is kinda surprising that the Patriots pulled the trigger on that trade

by Marko :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 6:59pm

The Patriots better hope that the phrase "pulled the trigger" doesn't appear again in a story involving Talib: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6599193

by RickD :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 11:27am

Those charges were dropped.

Just saying.

by Marko :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 1:06pm

Yes, I know. But it's not so simple to just say "He isn't charged, so everything's cool." You don't want your player to be around when something like this is happening, even if your player is not guilty, not charged, or merely an innocent bystander. He could be a victim if a tragic accident occurs.

If you don't put yourself in bad situations, you will be better off. And while you can't control every situation you are in, some people seem to be less able to avoid bad situations.

by RickD :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 6:23pm

As a Pats fan, I like this. BB seems to have heard the voices saying that the Pats really need to improve the defense now if they want to get another Super Bowl trophy before the end of Brady's career. Late round draft picks in the past few years have had a lot of problem getting onto the roster. There's not a huge difference between a 7th-round pick and a free agent.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 7:19pm

Tampa couldn't see how they could give him a deal after this year so they tried to get what they could. The Pats just got themselves a talented s**tbag.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 8:22pm

Goods trade for Buccan . Talib crap human. Okay cornerback.

Should hellp Pates but fans of tema going to be waiting for other shoe to drop because this giuy will do somrthing bad off the field again becjajsse that just what he do.

by J. Oliver (not verified) :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 8:28pm

Raiderjoe is why I read *all* the comments on posts.

by mattyweb :: Thu, 11/01/2012 - 10:40pm

It would be a huge surprise (and a colossal mistake!) if Talib got into any trouble in his time with the Patriots. He's going to be on national TV at least 3 times before the season is over and appear in the playoffs as well if he's lucky (and good). All he has to do is keep his nose clean for 3 months and he'll literally make millions more than he would have if he had played out the season with the Bucs.

I'm thinking he'll be motivated.

by Zieg (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 9:00am

I'd like to think Aqib is turning it around. The crap with the gun charge says otherwise but depending on what you read in that situation he was potentially defending his sister from an abusive boyfriend (or potentially taking a charge for his mother), which is at least theoretically defensible. But it did seem like he was on his way out and moving up three rounds for him mid-season vs nothing at end seems like a good call.

by asdasdadsadasd (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 5:55am

I guess they tried to trade for Rodgers Cromartie from the Eagles and that did not work.

by Anonymous-45 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 10:43am

Won't the Patriots get a compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere?

by dryheat :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 10:52am

Not exactly. He'll be in the equation of FA gains vs. FA losses to determine comp picks in 2014, assuming that process didn't change in the latest CBA. It will depend on what else New England does this offseason.

by PatsFan :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 12:20pm

One wonders if NE traded a 4th only because they had nothing else to trade?

They certainly wouldn't trade a higher pick, they had no 5ths or 6ths, and a 7 wouldn't have been enough.

by Anonymous3737 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/02/2012 - 2:34pm

I like this trade from the Pats' perspective. And I'm not going to cry over a lack of mid-to-late draft picks in 2013. With a few notable exceptions, they are a young team.
RB - super young
TE- super young
OL - young with 2 above avg tackles.
DL - Other than Wilfork, young, and interior D-lineman have long careers
LB - young and huge
secondary - young and crappy

Given the recent drafting record and their willingness to cut rookies, it's hard for see where any 4h-6th round picks would stick with this deep roster. Some WR's under 30 would be nice, but they'll sign 4-5 veterans every year and see who can learn the playbook. My point is: there are plenty of reasons to stop hoarding draft picks. even if the Ocho and Albert trades didn't work out.

by dryheat :: Sun, 11/04/2012 - 5:06pm

You/re right, I guess. 5.7 million cap hit split over 2 years. Dillon apparently asked to be released as he was leaning towards retirement. Although I have no idea how this post ended up all the way down here.