Tiki or Plax: Which Former Giant Will Make a Better Come Back?

J FCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  Tiki Barber #21 and Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants look on from the sidelines towards the end of the game against the Chicago Bears at Giants Stadium on November 12, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants lost the game 38-20.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

It's uncertain if either WR Plaxico Burress or retired RB Tiki Barber will be back on their old team in 2011.

Plaxico has a better shot than Tiki because the Giants have already declared their faith in Brandon Jacobs, and they've held onto Ahmad Bradshaw for the time being.

Wait, let me rephrase that. Plaxico has a better chance. We all know that pretty much anybody has a better shot than Burress, because probably about 99.9 percent of the world population hasn't put a bullet through their own leg.

Anyway, although the Giants have a slew of solid young receivers (Smith, Manningham, Nicks), they haven't ruled out signing the nine year veteran Burress. Its pretty safe to say the odds are slim after they released him before the 2009 season, but the fact is he will have a job somewhere.

Burress says he worked out in prison and that he's still in shape, but he's been locked up for two years without playing competitive football. However, he's two year younger than Barber, at 33 years of age, and he also plays a less physically demanding position.

Tiki will join Kevin Faulk and Fred Taylor as the league's oldest backs, that is if they don't retire.

Barber is older than both of them and it's unrealistic for him to think filing papers for his return was a good decision. His decision to retire was probably the worst he'll ever make because he walked away in his prime and the Giants won the Super Bowl the following year without him.

I commend him for attempting a comeback, but it's too late for Tiki. The best case scenario would be if he finds a job as a third down back and he can enjoy playing football again while avoiding serious injury to his aging body.

It would be wiser for him to bury his regret, but the feeling that he left a few good years on the field is probably eating away at him. There are a lot of younger backs on the market so Barber's really going to have to prove his worth if he wants a contract.

Even if he can make it through the entire season, Tiki's not going to put up big numbers and will probably return to retirement. Burress, on the other hand, has the potential for a Michael Vick-type come back.

Vick spent even more time in jail for a more serious crime so there is no reason to believe Burress can't do the same thing. It comes down to whether or not he has the desire for redemption and if he can return to his old form.

He may have a quiet first year back in the National Football League, but in the next few years he should be producing as a No. 2 receiver on some team's depth chart.

Legal troubles may be working against Burress, but he has the opportunity to escape his past. Barber can't run away from age and the wear and tear of carrying the ball in the NFL. Former stars his age such as Shaun Alexander, Ahman Green and Edgerrin James can't even find a job in the league any more.

It would be great for Barber if he could pull off an amazing comeback, but I just can't make myself believe it will happen. Burress will be a potential Comeback Player of the Year winner in 2011 and all eyes will be on him.

Burress is the obvious option to have a better season, but will Plaxico redeem himself when given a second chance or will he just shoot himself in the foot?