When the Patriots traded for Aqib Talib in 2012, they were getting a troubled corner in the midst of a PED suspension.

His checkered past in college and with the Buccaneers made him a dice roll. By the end of the 2012 season, he’d established himself as one of the most important players on the team.

In the offseason, Talib’s importance grew. He gave a review of former teammate LeGarrette Blount that clinched Bill Belichick’s decision to swing an end-of-draft trade to bring Blount aboard.

“When you have a guy who is with another player day after day, year after year, competing against him on the field and he gives you an honest evaluation and you trust that player and his evaluation, who knows better than him?” asked Belichick.

“Even what you see on film it’s nice and it’s what you have to work with and it’s valuable but it’s not nearly as valuable as somebody who is in the day to day competitive situation with another person,” Belichick added. “I think that was something that I didn’t really have a lot of, didn’t really have a good way to measure or find out but Aqib cleared that up for me in a very positive way.”

Blount’s background was similarly spotty. He went undrafted out of Oregon in part because he seemed a little nuts. After a huge rookie year with the Bucs, his role tapered and his mood cooled.

Belichick knew what Blount was capable of because he demonstrated it in the league.