Tiki Barber: 10 Teams Who Could Give Him a Shot in 2011
Tiki Barber wants to play football again and will be 36 years old when the new season starts.
The New York Giants all-time leader in a number of categories wants back in football after unsuccessfully trying his hand in broadcasting.
According to Giants team spokesman Pat Hanlon, New York still holds Tiki's rights if he were to re-enter the league.
The Giants have two interesting decisions now with Plaxico Burress getting out of jail (although they do not hold his rights) on top of the new Tiki situation.
New York may not be in need of his services (they may not want him at all) and will have to decide what to do with him.
As stated by Tiki's agent, "there are parties interested" in his client.
Here is a look at 10 teams that might give Tiki Barber a shot in 2011.
New York Giants
New York has a slight need at the running back position as Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are terribly prone to injuries (even if they play through them).
The Giants-Tiki connection may have too much baggage attached to it for it to not end in ugly fashion.
Despite the small need at running back (if Mark Ingram were to fall to New York at No. 19 there could be something to it), a 36-year-old Tiki Barber is unlikely to be the answer.
Coach Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese would be better served to continue on their path of getting back to the Super Bowl...without Tiki Barber.
Any coach or team with Giants connections is going to be linked to Barber, and new Denver coach John Fox is no exception.
The Broncos have a slight need at running back. They are unsure of what they have with Knowshon Moreno and whether or not he can stay healthy and a veteran like Barber could help a youngster like that.
Barber was a dominant all-around running back prospect who continually rose up to make plays in big moments for the Giants prior to his retirement.
He could catch the ball out of the backfield, could pick up the blitz and was obviously a big-time running threat.
Knowshon has the potential to be all those things, and maybe Barber could help him a bit.
Regardless, Fox is a familiar face and has to be considered a potential destination until we know otherwise.
New Orleans Saints
Sean Payton is Barber's former offensive coordinator, and we know he could certainly get some use out of him in that offense (assuming Tiki completes his return in shape).
The Saints have some questions surrounding the running back position and may be willing to at least see what Barber has to offer them this upcoming year.
His overall versatility and experience could be valuable for a team that will likely be back in the postseason in 2011.
Barber started to become the player we saw towards the end of his career in Payton's last season as coordinator, and he also caught the most passes of his career in those three seasons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tiki Barber has said that his brother, Ronde, reignited the spark in him after seeing the enjoyment and energy the cornerback was still playing the game with.
It has always been a dream for these two to play together in the NFL, and this would be their best opportunity.
The Bucs have found their big bruiser in LeGarrette Blount, and they are in the market for a potential change of pace style back.
Barber's versatility and experience could certainly aid the young playmakers on the Bucs offense (assuming he's not a jerk in the locker room anymore), and the potential to play with his brother make this a very strong possibility if he is to play at all.
Coach Raheem Morris has already acknowledged they won't rule out interest.
Is there anything owner Daniel Snyder and coach Shanahan won't do to win football games?
Going after a former division rival (Barber has butchered the Redskins in the past) is certainly not out of the question. Just ask McNabb.
But Mike Shanahan and his blocking schemes are of the belief they can do just about anything with any running back, and maybe Barber is no exception.
They just cut loose veteran Clinton Portis, and the experience and what will be relatively fresh legs of Barber may attract the coach's attention.
Not many ties on this one, but the Dolphins are the one team in the league that will be desperate for running back help.
Naturally they will want to get younger with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams moving on, but a veteran like Barber could certainly help the progression of a youngster.
The Dolphins need to figure out something for their offense, and maybe a new veteran presence could give them a boost.
New England Patriots
It's Bill Belichick. Will we ever challenge what he decides to do?
A veteran running back with minimal chance of successful return to football, well, Bill could certainly find a way to use him.
The Patriots will likely get younger at the running back position this offseason, and while I don't consider this too much of an option, I never put anything past the Patriots organization.
The Oakland Raiders are starting to go in the right direction, and I do not believe this would be a step in the right direction.
However, the Raiders are notorious for head-scratching decisions, and this would rank right up there.
No ties, no potential theories to attach to it other than the Raiders being the Raiders; hopefully they continue to be better than they have been in recent years and stay away.
When you are the worst team in the league, you can leave no stone unturned.
The Panthers have a long way to go to get back in competitive football games, but they have to start somewhere.
DeAngelo Williams will likely be moving, and they could use all the help they can get after having one of the worst offenses in the league last season.
Again, not likely but cannot rule things out when a team has to turn things around.
Las Vegas Locomotives (UFL)
Not in the NFL, I know, but this may be the most viable option.
Jim Fassel has won the last two UFL championships in Las Vegas, was the coach who drafted Barber out of Virginia in 1997 and may be the most willing to give him a shot.
No certainty of NFL ball in the fall, a lot of UFL players have gotten chances in the NFL towards the end of the season due to injuries; this may very well be the best option he has.
Barber was a tremendous athlete and competitor in the prime of his career. I do not doubt his physical ability if he truly dedicates himself back to it, but a UFL role may be best way to get back in without doing real damage to himself.