Tiki Barber is coming back into the NFL, screaming, “I’m out of money!”
After all, why else would a 35-year-old running back, nonetheless, decide to come out of a four-year retirement?
I always thought Barber had his head straight, especially after CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC were all competing for his services soon after his retirement. He was even considered as Matt Lauer’s future replacement when he retires in 2011.
I have a feeling that is no longer the case.
Reports surfaced recently that Barber left his wife of 11 years, Ginny Cha, for a much younger, former NBC intern, 23-year-old Tracy Lynn Johnson. Nice one, Tiki.
Barber and Cha had four kids already, and were eight months into the fifth child, and Barber left.
In Barber’s NFL career, he amassed 10,449 rushing yards, 55 rushing touchdowns, 5,183 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. He is currently the Giants all-time leader in rushing yards. Barber’s trademark was his fumbling issues, which he fixed in time for the last couple years of his career.
There’s no doubt that he was a great running back in his prime, but at 35, is he even worth a look?
One way people can look at it, is that he is well rested, not playing for four years, so he could have enough left in the tank for one more year.
Tiki Barber is actually a rare specimen, because in his last year in the league at age 31, he rushed for 1,662 yards with a 5.1 ypc average. Pretty impressive, right?
I have no doubt in my mind that if he kept playing, he would have had his last year in the league at age 33. Running backs have a steep dropoff and he never actually took over the full starting role until he was 27, so a drop off was inevitably coming in the near future any way you look at it.
Just in time for him to hit his prime and stretch it out past the average prime years.
The other way people can look at it, is that he has not played in four years, he’s 35 and can’t have anything left in the tank.
I’ll go with the latter.
How many times have you seen a 35-year-old running back make any impact at all? Fred Taylor was 34 last season, but was hurt pretty much the whole time.
I’m not taking anything away from the ability Barber has had, or maybe even still has, but it’s just hard for me to see a 35-year-old guy come in and make an impact.
The way I look at it, why not sign a 24-year-old guy with some upside, instead of a 35-year-old Barber, with practically none at all. What you see is what you get when you look at him. There's no room for improvement.
I could be wrong, however, I mean we haven’t exactly seen anything quite like this before (correct me if I’m wrong.)
I just can’t see this ending well.
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