Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

Who will take a chance on Tiki Barber after the season starts?

September 6, 2011 |  1:47 pm

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Writers from around the Tribune Co. share their thoughts on Tiki Barber's comeback attempt and the possibility of whether a team might still sign him this season.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

I don’t think any team will be desperate enough to sign Tiki Barber, especially now that he’s strongly indicating -– through his agent –- that he’s moving on with his life.

Running backs commonly hit the wall around 30 and their statistics nosedive in the years that follow. Barber is 36 and hasn’t played since 2006, when he retired as the Giants’ all-time rushing and receptions leader.

He’s a talented guy, and I suppose there would be a nice, sentimental story were he to join his twin brother, Ronde, with the Buccaneers. But that move wouldn’t make much football sense.

There are plenty of young backs who are good enough to merit a chance in the league. There is life after “Today” for Barber, but it’s not back in the NFL. Good night, Tiki.

Andrew Carter, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tiki Barber’s agent did what he’s paid to do when he expressed disbelief that his client didn’t receive much of an opportunity during the preseason to make an NFL roster. But Barber and his agent might be the only people surprised that Barber is unemployed entering the season.

Don’t expect Barber to land somewhere after the season begins, either.

Between 2002 and 2006, Barber ran for at least 1,200 yards every season. He had a great career.

But he hasn’t played since ’06.

Come back after one year of retirement? Fine. Two years? OK, maybe. But after five years? Come on.

Why would Barber expect to find work in the NFL after being out of the game for five years? Unless he possesses a Benjamin Button-esque ability to age in reverse, this makes no sense.

Don’t expect to see Barber back on the field in the NFL.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

The party may be over for Tiki Barber. His only hope, it seems, would be some sort of plague that affects only running backs.

Barber is 36 years old and hasn’t played in five years. The odds against any back as old as Barber being very effective are pretty strong.

The only running back in NFL history who was fairly productive at Barber’s age was Marcus Allen. He rushed for 830 yards and averaged four yards per carry as a 36-year old after the Chiefs revived him.  Though Allen was a forgotten man for the better part of four years with the Raiders, he never stopped playing completely as Barber did.

Most NFL teams would prefer to try a younger, cheaper player who is willing and able to contribute any way possible, including on special teams. 

For the record, 2:11 p.m., Sept. 6: A previous version of this post indicated that Tiki Barber worked for "Good Morning America." He was a contributor for the "Today" show.


Colts' Peyton Manning might miss first start because of injury

T.J. Simers: It's fantasy that makes him smart and interesting

San Diego worries about a Chargers run to Los Angeles

Photo: Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber. Credit: Nick Laham / Getty Images