New York Giants record-holder Tiki Barber is returning to the NFL
Tiki Barber, former running back for the New York Giants, has signed the paperwork to come back to the National Football League (NFL) after spending four years in retirement, according to the agency that represents him.
He said on Tuesday that he wants to come back, but not to the New York Giants, where he is still their all time leading rusher. Barber is the twin brother of Ronde Barber, cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"After seeing how much fun Ronde is still having, it re-ignited my fire, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level of where I was," Barber said.
The Giants still own Barber’s rights, since he will be 36 next year but still has two contracted years left. However, the Giants say that they will release him once a Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached.
"We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when we are able to make the transaction, we will release him from our reserve/retired list," Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said on his Twitter page.
Raheem Morris, head coach of the Bucs, told a local newspaper that he hasn’t ruled out bringing the Barber brothers back together, like they were at the University of Virginia.
"You know me, we always discuss those guys who can help us," Morris said. "... I'm sure he can help someone, if not us, if it ever came to that."
He also said that he only has to look at Ronde to know what type of player Tiki would be.
"When you're talking about those type of great players, you've always got to have interest," Morris said. "And if he's got the heart and the desire and the fire, I say you do it. It's no different than his brother. He's one of those guys who doesn't know
when he's going to run out of gas."
Barber was drafted 36th overall in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He wasn’t used much in his first three years, catching only 142 passes and rushing 250 times. Barber had the longest touchdown reception of his career in 1998, catching
a pass for an 87 yard touchdown, and had a total of 935 rushing yards in his first three seasons combined.
For the next seven years, Barber had more than 1,000 rushing yards in six of those seasons. The only exception was in 2001 when he played in 14 games and started in only nine of them. He had 166 rushing attempts for 865 yards and four touchdowns, along with
72 receptions for 577 yards and no touchdowns. His best seasons came in 2004 and 2005. In 2004, he had 1,518 rushing yards for 13 touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns. In 2005, he had 1,860 rushing yards but only nine touchdowns.