The rumor mill is starting to churn with talk of the Redskins trading for Aqib Talib, the talented but troubled Bucs cornerback.The chatter seems to have originated with a report in the website Buccaneers 101. I have no idea if reports from there should be considered reliable or not. However, some local chatter indicates that this story may have some legs to it and a pre-draft story in the Pewter Report, a Bucs site that does have a reputation for breaking stories, said that the Bucs made it known that Talib is on the trading block.That doesnt mean that a deal, which likely would involve a late-round 2013 draft pick, is imminent or that its going to happen at all. But it does mean that its worth a post taking a look at a potential deal.You dont need to look too hard to find connections between Talib and the Redskins. Bruce Allen was the Bucs general manager when they took Talib out of Kansas with the 20th pick in the 2008 draft. And Raheem Morris was Talibs position coach his rookie year and his head coach for the past three years.Allen, Morris, and anyone who see Talib on film can recognize his talent. He has great speed, especially for someone his size (6-1, 205). Talib has excellent ball skills and overall instincts. On most NFL teams he would be a starter or at least the first CB off of the bench.So why might the Bucs want to deal him? At least in part, it could be due to the troubled part of the talented but troubled label. He is facing a June 25 trial on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If found guilty he could serve up to 20 years on jail.What happened in the incident in March of 2011 that led to the accusation is not clear but any allegations that a person piston whipped and then fired at another individual (in this case, Talibs sisters boyfriend) are quite serious.This is not Talibs first brush with the law. He served a one-game suspension in 2009 after an incident involving an altercation with a cab driver. At the NFL rookie symposium he got into a fistfight with fellow Bucs rookie Cory Boyd. In addition to the felony assault charge, a woman is seeking 15,000 in damages from Talib, claiming that he threatened to put a cap in her after a December 2010 traffic incident.Since Mike Shanahan has been with the Redskins, he has stayed away from players who have had trouble with the law or character issues of any kind. That changed somewhat this year as the Redskins signed safety Tanard Jackson, who has been suspended a total of 20 games for violations of the substance abuse policy and safety Brandon Meriweather, who has had a couple of scrapes with the law.But neither has a felony conviction on his record and that is what Talib faces when he goes on trial on June 25. Even a conviction on a lesser charge or a plea bargain could lead to both jail time from the legal system and a suspension at the iron fist of Roger Goodell.Given all of that it is hard to see the Redskins being highly interested in Talib. If Morris and Allen have persuaded Shanahan to take a hard look at him, it is doubtful that any deal would take place prior to the resolution of the legal case. Even the, the organization will think long and hard about the wisdom of bringing in a player and a person like Aqib Talib.
The Redskins went into Lincoln Financial Field somewhat banged up. They left in worse shape than they were when they arrived.
The most significant injury seemed to be to guard Brandon Scherff. Coach Jay Gruden said that he had an MCL injury and that he will get an MRI on Tuesday. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. Scherff rarely takes plays off and the feeling is that he could have a significant injury. He headed to the team bus to the airport with a brace on the knee.
OT Trent Williams came into the game with a patella injury in his knee and he aggravated it late in the game, missing the Redskins’ last couple of possessions. He did not practice all week to rest the injury. We will see as the week goes by if the injury will allow Williams to continue to play.
OT Morgan Moses sprained both ankles and he returned to the game after each injury. He undoubtedly will be very sore tomorrow and we will see how he recovers.
The other reported injuries were more minor in nature, although they could cost the players some games. CB Fabian Moreau had a hamstring strain and he left the game. OLB Preston Smith, who has been one of the team’s best pass rushers this year, left the game with a groin strain. He attempted to return but he had to go back out. CB Josh Holsey had a chest contusion and he returned after going to the locker room to be examined.
Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles:
The Redskins have to keep the hammer down—They scored the first time they had the ball and then they had a few empty possessions. Washington took a 10-3 lead but the Redskins then got into the cycle of short, ineffective offensive possessions getting their defense back on the field too soon. The way Carson Wentz is playing, if you give him enough chances you will pay for it.
They won’t win if they don’t run—The running backs carries 14 times. Sure, the game got away in the second half, reducing their opportunities, but the rushing game was an issue throughout. In the first half they had a pair of third and ones and a third and two and they passed all three times. All three were incomplete, which led to the issues in the first item here. If the Redskins have a balanced offense they have a shot at beating almost anyone. If they don’t run the ball enough the odds are against them.
Redskins fans have the Cleveland Browns to thank for 10 years of Wentz—The Browns played Moneyball and traded the rights to draft Wentz to the Eagles. Like just about everything the Browns do, it didn’t work out. Now the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys will pay for the Browns’ mistake for years to come. That run out of the pack of rushing linemen was both amazing and critical. It turned a punt back to the Redskins, who were down by seven, into a first down and an eventual touchdown.
The defense needs to get itself off the field—It’s easy to blame the offense for the problems with possessing the ball. But the defense could do its part, too, by getting itself off the field. At times, it feels like the Redskins’ defense is better than it has been in years but they gave up touchdown drives of 81, 80, 80, and 75 yards. At some point you have to show you’re better and get a takeaway or just make a stop to get off the field. Until then, the group has not improved in a meaningful way. I should note that the injuries have something to do with it, for sure. Dunbar did not play poorly but they pay Josh Norman $15 million per year for a reason.
There is a lot of season left to be played—The Redskins are 3-3 and two games away from the midway point to the season. They would have to rely on an Eagles’ collapse to win the NFC East but it’s entirely possible that they could. All but one other second-place team has three losses and the Redskins get their shot at the Seahawks in a couple of weeks. Fans have every right to feel frustrated after this loss but it’s not the end of the line. There still is plenty for this team to play for. Some of the injured players aren’t coming back but if they can round into reasonably good health in the next few weeks they still have a lot that they can accomplish.