Free agency is over.
Not officially. But if you’re a free agent and you’re still available, there’s something wrong with you.
Tiki Barber’s still available, and there are many things wrong with him. For starters, he’s 36 years old (89 in running back years) and hasn’t played professional football in half a decade.
So the lack of interest in Barber isn’t completely surprising. Still, I figured someone would’ve taken a chance on Barber during the free agency process.
Unfortunately for Tiki, significantly younger and more reliable backs such as Ahmad Bradshaw, DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown, Marion Barber, Jerome Harrison, Darren Sproles and Ricky Williams were available for teams to pick from.
The Miami Dolphins bit (pardon the pun) and brought Barber in for a visit earlier this month, but nothing has come from that. No other visits have been reported.
In fact, Barber, who was such a big story when he announced his intention to return to football back in March, has seemingly been forgotten by the mainstream football media the past two weeks. The story of his comeback attempt was novel because he went out in Barry Sanders fashion and was now crawling back after failing in the world of television. And if that didn’t make compelling enough copy, he was reportedly doing it because he could no longer pay the bills.
But we were mired in a lockout-dominated world then, and now we have real football to analyze and discuss. Tiki doesn’t intrigue us anymore, just as he doesn’t intrigue general managers and scouts anymore.
This whole ordeal is quite sad, and yet it’s also a little bit funny.
It’s funny because, even while he tried to repair his image and redeem himself, Barber and his agent were making the media rounds with a macho mentality. Back in June, Tiki’s rep, Mark Lepselter, was telling us that two teams were showing “serious interest” in his client and that “we feel like we already know where we’re going.”
Either both teams’ interest suddenly faded, they’re taking their sweet-ass time to make their offers, or Lepselter was lying.
Let’s face it: he was lying in an attempt to drum up interest in his client, and it didn’t work. Now, he’s sitting and waiting for Miami to call.
And if the Dolphins don’t call, Barber might be done. Because even when a few running backs get hurt during the preseason, I’m betting that the majority of NFL teams won’t look to Barber and his baggage to fill in.
Mike Hart, Laurence Maroney, Dominic Rhodes, Kevin Smith and Brian Westbrook remain team-less. Once they’re all gone, I might consider Tiki Barber.