Tiki Barber: Money Woes Real Reason He Wanted NFL Comeback

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2011

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 28:  Former National Football League player Tiki Barber listens to testimony during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries on Captiol Hill October 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. A recent NFL study of retired players suggested that N.F.L. retirees ages 60 to 89 are experiencing moderate to severe dementia at several times the national rate.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tiki Barber needed another shot at the NFL far more than the NFL needed him.

Love of the game? Please. Barber is broke.

The 36-year-old was attempting a desperate comeback to the gridiron because he needed another six-or-seven figure paycheck.

After turning down $8.3M to retire back in 2007, he has to be kicking himself now that he can’t afford to get divorced or re-married.

He’s trying to marry 24-year-old Traci Lynn Johnson, a former NBC intern whom he met while working for NBC in a failed attempt to become a broadcaster. At the time she was 22 and the couple’s bond was strong enough for Barber to decide he wanted a divorce from his wife Ginny—while she was pregnant with twins.

So obviously Ginny is trying to get as much from the former New York Giants star as she possibly can. This is a problem for Barber considering he is running out of money rather quickly. Another big issue is the money he needs to marry Johnson. They couple is engaged and are planning a dream wedding in May, but Barber can’t legally do it until he’s officially divorced.

All of this costs gobs of money and Barber doesn’t have it.

It’s got to be an extremely tough pill to swallow. Going from a Pro Bowl running back making millions to a has-been that the public despises, it’s been a bumpy four years for Tiki.

Don’t feel bad for him though. He went on a phony media campaign that was highlighted by a touching feature on HBO’s Real Sports. He acted like his only motivation was to get back on the field. Barber pretended to be devastated when the season started without him.

Instead, it’s clear he was looking for one last paycheck with the NFL shield on it so he could pay off his wife and marry somebody 14 years younger.

Barber never loved the NFL…and the NFL got the last laugh.

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