Tiki Barber: Why the RB Can't Return To the New York Giants

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIMarch 8, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24:  Tiki Barber #21 of the New York Giants runs the ball against the New Orleans Saints on December 24, 2006 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber filed paperwork with the NFL today saying he would come out of retirement.  

Wherever he plays next season, it won't be in New York.

In comments Barber made in his position as an NFL analyst with NBC, he questioned the leadership of quarterback Eli Manning and the coaching practices of head coach Tom Coughlin.

No player can come out publicly against the captain and coach and then play for that team, not even a franchise legend.

Depending on the status of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw returning next season, the Giants might be in a market for a running back.  Barber will likely not even be considered.

Although Barber was young when he retired after the 2006 season, years have passed. Remember that already-stale memory of the Giants' miracle Super Bowl run in 2007? Barber was already retired by then. 

Barber found success in the NFL with his quickness, and after years without any live game situations, he is not in a good position to be productive at the NFL level.  It will be difficult for the 35-year-old to get back into NFL shape.

Barber will not be a starting running back anywhere in the NFL this season.  While he might provide veteran leadership as a backup elsewhere, Barber has burned too many bridges with his scathing analysis of the Giants to return to any kind of role with the team.

Ronde Barber recently re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The twin brothers played together 15 years ago at the University of Virginia.  The idea of playing together again might appeal to both of them.

But Barber's motives for returning to the NFL might not be purely for the love of the game.  In June 2010, the New York Post reported Barber could not pay his divorce settlement.  

Expect him to sign with the team that will give him the biggest payday.  The Washington Redskins, New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders are teams that have not been scared to make controversial, big moves in the past.

The Giants still have Barber's rights after his retirement, and have to decide whether to release or keep him, according to Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com.  Giants fans hoping for a Barber return: Don't hold your breath.