A track record that included some stellar play on the field but a seemingly endless string of missteps off it led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to part ways with troubled cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib, a first-round draft pick out of Kansas in 2008, was traded to the New England Patriots on Thursday along with a seventh-round pick in 2013 in exchange for the Patriots' 2013 fourth-round pick.
The deal went down just minutes before the NFL's trade deadline expired at 4 p.m. and while Talib was serving a four-game league suspension for using the banned substance Adderall.
Talib, 26, was in the final year of his five-year rookie contract, scheduled to be a free agent in 2013.
"This is a decision that we felt was in the best interest of our organization,'' Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. "The thing you have to keep in mind is that for us, you're body of work is what it is.
"And Aqib Talib has played well for us. But, at the same point, he's also got eight games left on his contract and then his contract is going to expire. So, we felt like this was an important decision for us.''
One of the more important parts of the decision revolved around the fourth-round draft pick the Bucs received in return.
"The good thing about this trade is that it does provide us with another fourth-round pick and fourth rounders have been good to us," Dominik said.
For example, Dominik said, the team drafted receiver Mike Williams in the fourth round in 2010 and used a fourth-round pick in April to trade up to select running back Doug Martin in the first round and linebacker Lavonte David in the second round.
Tampa Bay has eight draft picks in 2013 – one in each of the seven rounds and an additional pick in the fourth.
Talib could not be reached for comment.
He must sit out one more game before his suspension expires. New England has a bye this week, so Talib will be eligible to play for the Patriots for the first time on Nov. 11 against Buffalo.
The trade brings to a close Talib's troubled five-year tenure with Tampa Bay. He started 45 regular-season games and recorded 18 interceptions for the Bucs, but struggled from the outset of his pro career to stay out of trouble off the field.
In 2008, not long after he was drafted, Talib was involved in a fistfight with fellow Bucs rookie running back Cory Boyd while attending the NFL's rookie symposium.
A year later, during an offseason workout at One Buc Place, Talib got into a helmet-swinging incident at practice in which he intended to hit left tackle Donald Penn but accidentally struck and injured cornerback Torrie Cox.
In 2010, Talib was arrested and charged with simple battery for punching a cab driver. Talib eventually reached a civil settlement with the cab driver, but was later suspended for one game by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the league's conduct policy.
In March 2011, Talib was arrested in Garland, Texas, after police said he fired a gun and pistol whipped his sister's boyfriend during an incident outside his sister's home. A felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was later dropped by Dallas County prosecutors.
Talib found trouble again three weeks ago, when he was suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Talib, who acknowledged taking an Adderall pill after obtaining it without a prescription, did not appeal the suspension.
The trade also makes Talib the latest in a long line of beleaguered players the Patriots have taken a chance with coach Bill Belichick. The list includes receivers Randy Moss and Chad Ochocinco, running back Corey Dillon and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.
At least one noted NFL analyst thinks the Patriots eventually will benefit from the deal.
"That's an outstanding pick up for them and I think they'll get the most out of him,'' said John Lynch, the former Bucs safety who works as a Fox Sports NFL analyst and worked Tampa Bay's preseason games.
"He's a prototypical corner, but you're teammates and coaches have to believe they can count on you. I think the Bucs made a statement that they wanted Talib out of the locker room.''
Reporter Ira Kaufman contributed to this report.