With the Patriots’ secondary needing a boost halfway through the 2012 season, New England made a surprising move, acquiring cornerback Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 1, 2012. Talib, a former first-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2008, was under suspension from the NFL at the time of the trade for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. His suspension was lifted on Nov. 12, and Talib saw his first game action on Nov. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts and recorded seven tackles and returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown.
Talib proved to be just what the Patriots were looking for in their secondary, making his presence felt by opposing receivers for the rest of the season, making 19 tackles in six regular season games. He recorded 10 tackles in the Patriots’ AFC Divisional game against the Houston Texans, but injured himself and was forced to leave the game. He came back to play against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, but re-aggravated the injury and was not a factor in the Patriots 28-13 loss.
After becoming a free agent following the season, Talib re-signed with New England on a one-year contract for 2013, and will begin his first full season as a Patriot this September.