Don't Expect The Bengals To Sign Cornerback Aqib Talib If The Buccaneers Release Him

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib is "all but gone" once the lockout ends and teams are allowed to make player transactions -- such as releasing guys. Since arriving in the NFL, Talib has been the subject of several violent incidents.

He fought a teammate at the NFL rookie symposium. In 2009 he swung a helmet at tackle Donald Penn during an argument and inadvertently struck cornerback Torrie Cox, splitting his head open. Last year Talib agreed to a deal with prosecutors to resolve a battery charge after he was accused of hitting a St. Petersburg cab driver, and he was suspended for the first game last season by commissioner Roger Goodell.

And more recently Talib was charged with aggravated assault from a March 21 shooting in Texas. If convicted with a second-degree felony, the cornerback could face anywhere between two to 20 years in prison for allegedly firing a handgun at his sister's live-in boyfriend.

In the Texas case, police say Talib tried to pistol whip his sister's boyfriend during a domestic dispute. When Talib's mother, Okolo, arrived, she fired several shots at Billings before Talib got the weapon and shot at Billings. Okolo Talib, 58, also was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as being a felon in possession of a handgun.

God love family reunions. Even if Talib isn't convicted, he would still have to face Roger Goodell's personal conduct policy, which still "applies during the lockout and will be enforced when a collective bargaining agreement is reached."

Now. About the Bengals. If Talib is cleared and eligible for reinstatement after a suspension that's likely coming, do the Bengals throw caution to the wind, addressing cornerback if when Johnathan Joseph departs for free agency? In a more sensible world, Cincinnati signs Joseph to a long-term deal -- or drafts one of the high cornerback prospects -- and works towards grooming Morgan Trent and Brandon Ghee; two often forgotten options at cornerback.

And really, the Bengals just don't sign problem players off the street because they're simply cheap, as often believed. The team has to be convinced that there's a very real desire for contrition and growth. Cedric Benson, Adam Jones and Tank Johnson came to Cincinnati with troubled pasts. Along with being good teammates, these Bengals really wanted to put the past behind them to grow; which they've obviously done.

And unless that exists with Talib, don't expect the Bengals to sign him.

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