Recent NFL, NFLPA scuffles may have helped Talib avoid ban

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) looks on before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Photo by Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos won’t be without one of its “No Fly Zone” members, Aqib Talib, next season, at least when it comes to a possible suspension regarding an off the field incident last June in Dallas.

Talib was reportedly notified by the NFL Tuesday that he would not receive a ban nor a fine regarding a situation in which the All-Pro cornerback shot himself in the leg.

Certainly, it’s good news for the Broncos, as the prevailing thought was Talib most likely would face a suspension of some length once a Dallas police concluded its investigation into the matter and the league could conduct one of its own.

“I think that one of the key things to consider here was that there were no allegations that he violated Texas law by possessing that weapon,” USA Today NFL writer Tom Pelissero, who first reported Talib wouldn’t be suspended or fined, told Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan on Tuesday.

Dallas police wrapped up the investigation in October, concluding that Talib had indeed suffered two self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The department received a letter notifying them that Talib had accidentally shot himself, which his lawyer confirmed in January.

Despite being free of legal entanglements, Talib still could have faced punishment from the NFL under its personal conduct policy. But Pelissero said the league may have chosen leniency because there was no indication that Talib violated any state laws.

“There have been a lot of fights between the NFL and the player’s union in recent years. Did they want to drag this out into yet another fight that would potentially go through a grievance process and everything else?” Pelissero said.

“The league decided, ultimately, to give him a very hard slap on the wrist here with an understanding that if something further happens, this incident also could be considered to perhaps enhanced discipline for something down the line.”

Talib will be required to submit a list of the firearms he owns to the league and take a firearm safety course.

“But all things considered, him shooting himself last June, this is, I would say, a positive outcome for everybody,” Pelissero said.

Despite missing much of the Broncos offseason, including the team’s trip to the White House to celebrate its Super Bowl 50 win, Talib earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2016, grading out at the top of Pro Football Focus’ cornerbacks group.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.


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Johnny Hart

Johnny Hart is a digital content producer for Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan and He's a proud graduate of Colorado State University, and he has covered Denver-area professional sports since 2012. Follow Johnny on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.