Aqib Talib had his assault trial scheduled for March 26, 2012, his attorney told the St. Petersburg Times, increasing the chances that the troubled Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback might not miss any playing time this season.
Police in Garland, Texas, charged Talib with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, stemming from a March 21 domestic incident. The second-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, and Talib is out of jail on $25,000 bond.
Talib attended the Bucs' player-run minicamp workout this week in Bradenton, Fla. He could be subject to discipline from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who doesn't have to wait for a court ruling to punish Talib under the league's personal-conduct policy.
Talib seemingly has been in trouble ever since he entered the league. He was involved in a fight with fellow Bucs rookie Cory Boyd at the 2008 NFL Rookie Symposium, hit teammate Torrie Cox in the face with his helmet while scuffling with Donald Penn during a minicamp workout in May 2009, and was charged with simple battery and resisting arrest in connection with an assault on a taxi driver in Tampa in August 2009. Talib received a one-game suspension for the latter incident.
But Talib, a starter since the Bucs drafted him in the first round, has done well on the field, intercepting 15 passes in his three NFL seasons. He's coming off a fine 2010 campaign in which he had 50 tackles, 11 passes defended and six picks, one returned for a touchdown.
Talib isn't the only Bucs defensive back who has experienced off-the-field issues. Safety Tanard Jackson received a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy last season and isn't eligible to return until Sept. 22.
Jackson joined Talib on the field for this week's workouts and was happy to see his teammates for the first time since the suspension started.
"It's good to be back," Jackson told the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday. "(I've) just been trying to stay in shape and doing what I can do. There's not much that I can do with this lockout and being in the situation that I was in."
Said Talib: "That's my guy. He's out here. That's always good."