Tiki Barber is planning on coming back. But the soon-to-be-36-year-old won’t be a Giant. So, where will he go?
In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King suggests four teams:
I think I’d put my money on Tiki Barber being in training camp with either Tampa Bay, Oakland, New England or the Jets.
My thoughts on that quartet:
Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers make the most sense, mainly because Tiki’s brother Ronde plays in Tampa. The Bucs are a young team, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a guy like Barber work with LeGarrette Blount?
Oakland: This one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on the surface, and I can’t really visualize Barber in Oakland. Still, if the Raiders lose Michael Bush to free agency, Al Davis could be the kind of guy prepared to take a chance on a proven player to help spell Darren McFadden.
New England: Mike Reiss, who covers the Pats for ESPNBoston.com, doesn’t see it happening. Still, New England loves its aging running backs.
New York Jets: Barber would obviously love to stay in New York, but with the Jets bringing LaDainian Tomlinson back, this makes no sense at all. Shonn Greene also came on late in the 2010 season.
Believe it or not, Bodog has odds for this. The Bucs (2/1) are unsurprisingly leading the way, followed by the Broncos (5/2), Saints (3/1) and Patriots (10/1). So that adds two extra teams to the fray:
Denver: The only reason it makes sense: John Fox worked with Barber early in his career.
New Orleans: With Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas under contract and Reggie Bush’s status up in the air, there probably isn’t room for Barber in the Big Easy.
King claims that Barber “would be a success coming out of retirement after four years away from the game,” based on the fact that his numbers were consistently magnificent at 29, 30, and 31. But nearly half a decade away might be too much.
And if the Bucs or Pats or Raiders or Jets or Broncos or Saints don’t gamble on Barber with a non-guaranteed contract, who will? Wouldn’t teams rather give short deals to guys like Clinton Portis? You know, players who have proven themselves during Obama’s presidency?