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NFL decides not to suspend troubled Talib, Britt this season

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt, both of whom met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, will not be suspended by the league during the 2011 season for their offseason arrests.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said before Saturday night's 17-13 preseason victory over the Miami Dolphins that the NFL office informed him of the decision by telephone earlier in the day. Talib sat out the game with a hamstring injury that also sidelined him the first two weeks of the preseason.

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Likewise, league spokesman Greg Aiello told NFL.com that Goodell informed the Titans on Friday that discipline wouldn't be imposed on Britt "at this time."

"The Commissioner restated his expectation that Britt will be responsible for his actions going forward and noted that future incidents will lead to appropriate discipline," Aiello said.

Talib, a fourth-year pro, is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police in the Dallas suburb of Garland say they believe the 25-year-old player and his mother shot at a man in March.

Talib's trial is set for March 2012, and the league could revisit the matter pending the outcome of the case.

"We discussed Aqib's situation, and they (the league) informed us he will not be suspended for the 2011 football season," Dominik said. "Certainly we and the National Football League will continue to track the case, and we will proceed accordingly however that pans out."

Talib was suspended without pay for the 2010 season opener and also fined one additional game check for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. That discipline stemmed from an altercation with a St. Petersburg, Fla., cab driver during training camp in August 2009.

Despite missing last year's opener and four other games after a hip injury ended his season, Talib led the Bucs with six interceptions.

Dominik was asked if he was relieved that one of the team's best players will not begin this season on suspension.

"I'm not relieved because ... I don't want to have to deal with these kinds of things," Dominik said. "I think Aqib and our football team knows that that's not the type of team we want to be and build here. We want to be a team that our community is really proud of."

Dominik wouldn't say if Talib faces disciplinary action from the team.

"We're going to handle it internally, obviously, but the reality is Aqib -- if he can get healthy -- will certainly play in the last preseason game and have the opportunity to play against Detroit (in the Sept. 11 season opener)," Dominik said. "I'm going to monitor the case, just like everybody will, and we'll proceed accordingly depending on the outcome of that case."

In 2009, Britt became the first player from Rutgers ever taken in the first round of the NFL draft, but he has had seven incidents involving police. Two arrests came during the lockout in his home state of New Jersey, and he also faced two arrest warrants in Tennessee for providing inaccurate information on his driver's license application.

The Titans defeated the Chicago Bears 14-13 on Saturday night, but Britt didn't play as he recovers from a sore right hamstring and quad muscle. Goodell warned Britt that he better not see him in his office again, and the receiver said after Saturday's game that he was happy the situation was resolved..

"I hope I don't get nobody's nothing, no call or anything again in life unless it's 'Good job on the field,' " Britt said about the commissioner's warning.

"There's always a doubt in your mind that things might happen to you. But hey, I left it to the man upstairs and prayed about it, and it came out good on my behalf."

Titans coach Mike Munchak said now the team can look forward to having Britt back on the field, hopefully in Thursday night's preseason finale at New Orleans.

"It's nice to have that behind us and have it behind Kenny," Munchak said. "We all know there can't be anymore mishaps."

New Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said Britt is a great player with whom he can't wait to start working on the field.

"One of my hopes is that he can get out there and start taking reps with the offense instead of taking reps with the scout team," Hasselbeck said. "We didn't have an offseason. We didn't have OTAs. Now we haven't really had a training camp together, so it would be great to get on the same page."

Britt's incidents involved outstanding traffic warrants, driving without a license, failing to pay bail promised for a friend and a bar fight in which no charges were brought against the receiver after a grand jury investigation.

But in April, Britt was arrested in his hometown of Bayonne, N.J., and charged with eluding an officer and hindering apprehension when police accused him of driving his Porsche 71 mph in a 50-mph zone before leaving the officer. Britt later was found walking on a side street away from his car. Charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and a fine.

One day after those charges were reduced, two plainclothes officers at a Hoboken, N.J., car wash smelled marijuana and accused Britt of holding a rolled cigar they believed was the source. Britt was wrestled to the floor and handcuffed, and police believed a man who was with the receiver might have disposed of the cigar.

Britt's charges included resisting arrest, and he faces a Sept. 20 court date after pleading not guilty.

Asked about spending more time in Tennessee instead of New Jersey, Britt said his home now is in Nashville with his wife and daughter.

"So I'll be here for the rest of my life, I guess," Britt said. "They are liking it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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