The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who made trade-deadline moves in five of the last seven seasons, have done it again, sending cornerback Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots on Thursday.
The Buccaneers will receive a 2013 fourth-round pick in exchange and will also send a seventh-rounder back to New England. Since an earlier trade had netted Tampa Bay an extra seventh-round pick, the team now owns eight picks in the 2013 draft, with two in the fourth round and one in every other round.
"I'm wishing Aqib well in his trip to New England to play for the Patriots and in his future career," said General Manager Mark Dominik. "But we felt like this was an important decision for us as an organization today. Today is about what we felt like what was in the best interest of our football team and what we're building here in Tampa Bay."
Talib was due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. He originally joined the Buccaneers as a first-round draft pick in 2008 and played in 58 games with 47 starts. In 2012, he started the first four games of the season and had one interception before being moved to the reserve/suspended list. He finished the 2010 and 2011 seasons on injured reserve.
The Buccaneers traded players away at the in-season deadline in 2006 (DT Anthony McFarland, to the Colts) and 2009 (DE Gaines Adams, to the Bears). They also acquired players at the deadline in 2005 (QB Tim Rattay), 2007 (RB Michael Bennett) and 2010 (DE Alex Magee). There were very different circumstances that led to each one of those midseason maneuvers.
"Your body of work is what it is, and Aqib has played well here for us," said Mark Dominik. "But at the same point he's got eight games left under contract and his contract is going to expire. So we have to look at everything when we make these decisions, and each player is an individual situation. Each player is an individual case."