Tiki Barber will play in 2011 NFL season
Two months after we saw the end of the Favre saga another veteran player is returning from retirement. 36 year old Tiki Barber has filed papers to come out of retirement and revive his NFL career. Here is the twist, it won’t be with the New York Giants. His agent Mark Lepselter confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
“We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when we are able to make the transaction, we will release him from our reserve/retired list,” team spokesman Pat Hanlon said in a statement.
Though, Lepselter told FoxSports.com that “there are interested parties.”
He also told ESPNNewYork. “We are optimistic there will be opportunities for him,”
Despite not playing since 2006 Barber is confident and working hard to get back in prime-time shape. Barbers twin brother Ronde still plays defensive back for Tampa Bay and is having great success. This motivated Tiki to make a comeback.
“After seeing my brother still have fun at our age, it reignited the fire,” Tiki said according to FoxSports.com. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level where I was. I started working out again recently. It kind of shocked myself. I still had a lot of the strength I had before. I’m really looking forward to making a return”
Barber’s last NFL season was very productive. He rushed for 1,662 yards and five touchdowns in 2006 while splitting time with power back Brandon Jacobs. He ran for 10,449 yards with a 4.7 yards per-carry average in his career. He ran for a career best 1,860 yards in 2005 when he made one of his three Pro Bowls.
Coming back at his age offers some hills to climb. No running back his age or older has rushed for more than 830 yards in a season. We can be sure that Barber is aiming to crush that record.
Barbers trainer, Joe Carini said: “Around the Super Bowl, Barber began to seriously contemplate a return and he began working out a couple of weeks ago to get back in shape. He is dead serious and he has been coming in every day.”
On the contrary, former teammate Antonio Pierce feels otherwise. “I didn’t get a chance to get to know who Tiki Barber the person was,” Pierce said. “I know him as a player and the guy was great and we always congratulated each other, the way we played.”
“But what he did in that locker room my two years with him, he didn’t’ do anything but deteriorate that team,” Pierce added. “And he didn’t help us out. I don’t see this guy as a leader or somebody that can help you out. And that’s my problem with him.”
Pierce’s statements are hard to debate considering the Giants won a Super Bowl title the season after Barber’s retirement. But the important fact is that he still has the ability to play and will get an opportunity as long as the CBA talks finish in a positive manner. We’ll certainly be watching.
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