Looks like Tiki’s life is still in shambles. As the regular season of the NFL prepares to begin, Tiki ain’t even sitting on the sidelines. Sports Illustrated writer Peter King dedicated a couple paragraphs to Barber’s failed comeback attempt in his analysis of this years roster:
I had heard throughout the offseason that Tiki Barber had a suitor, a team that would sign him after his four-year hiatus from football. I knew it wasn’t Tampa Bay, where his twin brother Ronde prepares to continue his remarkable career. I figured it was Pittsburgh, where Mike Tomlin, Ronde’s former position coach with the Bucs, knew the Barbers well and had very high regard for them. But the Steelers never came through.
And when the phones stopped ringing Sunday night, and the musical chairs of roster spots around the league had ended, and the teams had their 1,696 players set for the 2011 season, not a single team had called Barber or his agent, Mark Lepselter. It’s easy to justify that, given that Barber is a 36-year-old man trying to play the position of players 13 and 14 years younger. And it’s probably understandable, except for one fact.
At 29, 30 and 31, Barber’s final three seasons in the NFL, he led all NFL backs in total yards from scrimmage (rushing-receiving yards), averaging 138 yards from scrimmage per game. Miami worked him out and chose to not sign him. The Giants released him and never would have brought him back because of bridges burned. And don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying this is some sort of outrage.
I tried to reach Barber on Sunday, but he wasn’t talking. I hear he’s devastated that no team gave him a chance. You might wonder if teams would bring him in after the first game of the season, so his contract wouldn’t be guaranteed, and that could still happen. But with no team calling Lepselter with even a hint of interest, it’s more likely teams would start with backs who’ve been in some football competition this summer.
Lepselter told me Sunday: “We are flabbergasted that Tiki has not had an opportunity with any team, especially when rosters were at 90 players this year. I certainly thought some team would be intrigued to see what he had left in the tank.”
Sounds like you thought wrong Lepselter… The thing about this all is that Tiki made his own bed, and now he has to lay in it.
Hey Tiki, think maybe Becky better pawn that ring?
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