The Patriots made a trade just before the deadline on Thursday in hopes to improve upon their poor secondary play.
Meet Aqib Talib, the newest Patriot. Talib joins New England after four-plus seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Pats also sent a 2013 fourth-round draft pick to Tampa Bay, and received a 2013 seventh-round pick in addition to Talib.
In 58 career games, the 6-foot-1 cornerback has recorded 182 tackles and 18 interceptions.
But if Talib is going to help, it won't be in the team's next game against the Bills. Talib is currently serving a four-game suspension by the NFL for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Talib said in a statement shortly after the suspension that he took an Adderall pill without a prescription before the season began, triggering the positive test.
Talib has served three of the four games so far, and will have to miss one more before putting on that Patriots uniform.
But that's the least of Talib's past issues. Trouble has found Talib or vice versa for quite a while now. Here's the quick rap sheet on him:
JULY 2008 -- Involved in a fistfight with fellow Buccaneers rookie Cory Boyd at the NFL rookie symposium.
AUGUST 20, 2009 -- Arrested by Florida Highway Patrol and charged with resisting arrest without violence and simple battery.
MARCH 2011 Arrested in Garland, Texas for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after being accused of firing a gun at his sister's boyfriend. He was released on 25,000 bond, and indicted in May 2011. On June 18, 2012 the charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence and character concerns with the accuser.
Another year, another injury concern for Hanley Ramirez. This time, though, it's a bit more complicated.
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell told the media Monday that Ramirez hadn't played any first base during spring training yet due to discomfort in his right throwing shoulder.
“Well, we’re working through ramping up his throwing program,” Farrell said, via WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. “That has taken a little bit more time than anticipated coming in so we’ve got to kind of take that day to day how much we can increase the intensity with the throwing. He’s just working through some soreness with the throwing.”
As Bradford points out, Ramirez and the Red Sox went through the same process last year. Where it differs this time around is Ramirez's scheduled participation in the World Baseball Classic: He's expected to report to Team Domincan Republic on Friday, which means the Red Sox won't be monitoring his every move on the field (though the two training staffs will be communicating daily, also per Bradford).
Ramirez isn't the only first baseman on the roster, with the Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana there as well. So will Ramirez be jumping into game action anytime soon?
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. They haven’t told me anything,” Ramirez told WEEI.com “I’m just going to go there and see.”
NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock quarterbacked a marathon conference call with reporters from around the country on Monday in order to shed some light on the prospects who will compete at the combine later this week. One thing that stood out? He's not ready to crown anyone in this year's crop of draftable signal-callers.
As a result of the dearth of pro-ready talent at quarterback, Mayock recognized Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo as perhaps the top target for any quarterback-needy team. Garoppolo might interest the Cleveland Browns in particular, Mayock noted, because of the number of picks they have near the top of the draft.
"In my opinion," Mayock said, "if I'm the Cleveland Browns and I've got No. 1 and No. 12, if I came away with either [defensive end Myles] Garrett or [defensive tackle] Jonathan Allen at No. 1, and gave up the 12th pick in the draft to get Garoppolo? I would be stoked.
"I would feel like I had a difference-maker on defense and we had a quarterback on offense. Now let's get to work. We got five in the first 65 picks. Let's get to work. From my perspective, especially looking at the quarterbacks this year, if they gave up No. 12 and could get Garoppolo, I'd be all over that."