Denver Broncos: Aqib Talib's future uncertain after shooting incident

By The Sports Xchange
Denver Broncos: Aqib Talib's future uncertain after shooting incident
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates with cornerback Aqib Talib (21) after their Feb. Super Bowl win. Talib was injured in a shooting incident Sunday, not his first incident with guns. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos visited the White House on Monday and began their mandatory minicamp Tuesday. Cornerback Aqib Talib was present for neither.

Talib was released from a Dallas-area hospital Monday after suffering a gunshot wound when a bullet took a trajectory from his right thigh through his left calf, but questions lingered about the circumstances of the shooting early Sunday morning. Talib was intoxicated at the time.


According to an ESPN report Tuesday, the NFL is investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Talib has had issues with guns before. In 2011, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but the charges were dismissed a year later.

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Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak declined to share the details of his conversations with Talib regarding the nature of the shooting, but spoke highly of the Pro-Bowl cornerback's place in the locker room.

"In my time here, Aqib has been a great teammate. He's worked his butt off. He's very accountable around here, and I don't expect any of that to change," Kubiak said.


But even if Talib does not face any charges or league discipline in connection with the shooting this weekend, he must recover from the injuries he incurred. Kubiak said that Talib would likely be evaluated by team medical personnel, including head trainer Steve Antonopulos, when the cornerback makes his expected return to Denver on Wednesday.

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"Everything that we hear from that standpoint has been of a positive nature as far as what could have happened compared to where he's at," Kubiak said. "So we need to get him here (and) see where he's at."

For the moment, Bradley Roby will step up to the first team, with Kayvon Webster assuming the nickel cornerback role.

In the long term, the incident could affect Talib's future. The six-year, $57 million contract he signed in 2014 was in effect a three-year deal, with all but $2 million of the $25 million in guarantees paid out by the end of the 2016 season.

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The growth of Roby -- who will be eligible for a fifth-year option in 2018 -- as well as the desire to keep other players could further impact Talib's long-term future.

But for now, as the Broncos prepare for a title defense, those concerns are pushed aside, buried beneath concern for Talib's health and how his 2016 status might be affected by his injuries.


"Let me see where he's at physically," Kubiak said.

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