Apparently, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber is pretty sad these days.
The ex-NFL star is dismayed that after deciding to unretired this summer and return to the game he left in top shape in 2006, there wasn’t one taker, according to Sports Illustrated. That’s right, all 32 teams passed on giving the 36-year-old Barber a shot.
"We are flabbergasted that Tiki has not had an opportunity with any team, especially when rosters were at 90 players this year,” Barber’s agent Mark Lepselter said to SI. “I certainly thought some team would be intrigued to see what he had left in the tank.''
Certainly there are some fresher legs out there that can help teams. But the last time we saw Barber in a football uniform he led the NFL in total yards from the line scrimmage (rushing and receiving), averaging 138 yards per game his last three seasons. You would have thought there was enough of a market out there to at least get him more than a failed tryout with the Miami Dolphins this summer.
It stands to reason that part of the reason Barber has been snubbed is that the man who seemed to make all the right moves and say all the right things as player has been a disaster in his post-NFL career. He was a bust as an on-air talent for NBC, on the network’s Today Show and also as an analyst for its Sunday Night Football programming.
It didn’t take long to realize that if a blossoming television career was why Barber abruptly cut his NFL career short, he had made a colossal misjudgment and so had NBC and all the other networks that fell all over themselves to give him a shot.
But that was only the beginning of this downfall. He was heavily criticized for some harsh on-air comments he made toward former teammate and Giants franchise quarterback Eli Manning. The worst, however, came this summer when it was revealed that Barber had cheated on his pregnant wife with a 23-year-old NBC intern.
The luster that had protected Barber was completely gone at that point.
There is still an outside chance some NFL team may sign Barber in the next couple of weeks at a reduced rate and without the guarantee of having the pay the aging running back the entire year no matter how it works out. But it certainly appears as though Barber’s playing career is over.
(Photo:Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)