Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday that the case against former Kansas University cornerback Aqib Talib had been dropped.
Talib, an all-pro with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers whose status with the team has been uncertain throughout the offseason, was scheduled to stand trial on charges of assault with a deadly weapon June 25 in Dallas County, Texas.
According to police, Talib allegedly pistol-whipped and fired shots at Shannon Billings, the live-in boyfriend of Talib’s sister, who resides in Garland, Texas.
However, Billings’ history of run-ins with the law might have helped Talib in this case.
“I guess the district attorney, in preparing for trial, had a chance to evaluate the case,” Talib’s attorney, Frank Perez, told the Times Monday. “The bottom line is that the complainant is sitting in jail as a repeat child molester and has prior cases of the same nature.”
Perez later released the following statement on Talib’s behalf:
“Today, the District Attorney for Dallas County, Texas, dismissed all of the charges that were filed against Aqib Talib in March, 2011. We appreciate the District Attorney’s thorough review of this case. Aqib is appreciative of the support that he received from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, his teammates, Buccaneers fans and his friends and family during this difficult period. With this matter now successfully behind him, Aqib’s sole focus is on contributing to a successful 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
With the second-degree felony charge out of the way, Talib can turn his attention to his future with the Bucs and new head coach Greg Schiano instead of a possible jail sentence of 2-20 years. Thursday, Schiano addressed the media on a variety of topics, including Talib.
“Well, anytime you have a guy where there’s an off-the-field situation that could affect his on-the-field situation, you’re concerned,” Schiano said. “The thing that I can tell you is, since I arrived here Jan. 26, he’s been awesome. The way he’s worked, he’s been here every day.”
Johnson opening eyes
Former KU linebacker Steven Johnson made quite a name for himself with the Denver media during the Broncos’ minicamp, which wrapped up last week.
Johnson, who was signed by the Broncos immediately following the NFL Draft in April, showcased his passion for the game and relentless attitude while attempting to join former teammate and fellow-KU alumnus Chris Harris in making the Broncos’ roster as an undrafted rookie.
Jeff Legwold, of The Denver Post, recently was asked about Johnson in a Q&A, and the answers he provided indicate that Johnson has a legitimate shot at making Denver’s 53-man roster.
Here are a couple of snippets from Legwold’s analysis of the former Jayhawk.
n “Johnson’s challenge will be to show quality play speed and to add some strength. He had good numbers in his workouts to measure explosiveness as well as a good showing in agility drills at his pro day. But his strength numbers were below average, so these offseason workouts are important for him. Once training camp opens, he’ll have to show he can shed blockers and keep his feet on the way to the ball.... Johnson will also have to show some impact on special teams, the fast track for any player hoping to make it as an undrafted player.”
n “Though he played in one of the worst defenses in the nation, for a team that went 5-19 in his last two years and surrendered 678 yards alone in an October loss to Baylor, Johnson still was noticed by NFL scouts by how he played through those struggles.”
n “If Johnson had been a tick or two faster on the stopwatch or a few pounds bigger, he certainly would have found himself drafted. At least two teams I spoke to before the draft had a borderline late seventh/priority free agent grade on him. Still, he’s in a good place to have a chance to make it … .”