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Who Needs A Barber?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 9, 2011 – 9:53 am

Ordinarily you’d think a story on the vikings.com Blog about a retired NFL player coming out of retirement would include the name Brett Favre. But not this time. Well, this entry includes Favre’s name but the discussion does not center on him.

Instead it centers on RB Tiki Barber, who retired after the 2006 season but has recently filed paper work to return to the NFL. The Giants released a statement saying they’ll release him from their retired/reserve list, indicating they intend to release his rights all together and allow him to become a free agent.

So, that begs the question: Where will he land?

I haven’t spoken with any Vikings brass and to my knowledge no one from the organization has disclosed an opinion on Barber’s chances of landing in Minnesota. My early thought is that he’s not a great fit here, but that can always change. As I thought more about it, there were 11 teams that came to mind as candidates to take a serious look at him. After drilling down further, I’ve eliminated 7 of those teams.

The 4 remaining teams are: Detroit, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington.

This is just me speculating and it provides fun discussion during a relatively slow time. Before we get to the teams, bear in mind the limitations associated with Barber. He’s going to turn 36 before the season starts, he doesn’t represent a realistic option as the feature or #1 RB and he probably has no special teams value. So he’s going to take up a roster spot but at the same time his contributions will be limited.

Let’s take a look at those 4 teams…

Detroit Lions
Obviously the Lions have a talented young RB in Jahvid Best, be we all know that teams need multiple backs on their roster. The RBs currently on the Lions roster are Aaron Brown, Ian Johnson, Maurice Morris and Kevin Smith. The uncertain climate caused by the CBA makes it difficult to gauge which of these RBs will return to Detroit for 2011, but either way I think Barber represents a potential upgrade at the position.

Pittsburgh Steelers
As is the case with the Lions, the Steelers have a young, talented feature back in Rashard Mendenhall. Pittsburgh also has a talented cast of complementary backs in Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman as well as youngsters Jonathan Dwyer and James Johnson. Even still, I wouldn’t put it past the Steelers organization to take a look at Barber and perhaps find a role for him. The way the Jerome Bettis era ended in the Steel City makes me realize that the franchise knows how to handle a situation such as Barber’s and perhaps an organization that is known for making all the right moves will deem giving Barber a flier the right move.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The obvious connection here is that Tiki’s twin brother Ronde plays for the Bucs. But there’s potential for a logical fit, too. LeGarrette Blount showed some promise last season plus Cadillac Williams is still there, but neither of those guys make it impossible for Barber to find a niche in Tampa. Kareem Huggins and Kregg Lampkin are also there, as is Earnest Graham. But again, none of those names make anyone think a job is unattainable. Keep an eye on this one, if not for the lone reason that Ronde is there.

Washington Redskins
The Redskins just dumped a veteran RB in Clinton Portis, so perhaps they have no interest in acquiring another one in Barber. But head coach Mike Shanahan knows offense and I wouldn’t put it past him to think he can squeeze the last little bit out of Barber. The biggest hurdle to Washington adding Barber, assuming they’d have an interest in him (big assumption), is that the RB stable is probably at capacity and there are actually talented players in that stable. Andre Brown, James Davis, Shawnbrey McNeal, Chad Simpson, Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams and Darrel Young are already on the roster, and I’m not sure that Barber represents enough of an upgrade over most of those names to displace a youthful runner with a bigger upside.

What do you all think?


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 46 Comments »


46 Responses to “Who Needs A Barber?”

  1. By dlionsfan on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    detroit is releasing kevin smith. never heard of ian johnson and you should include jerome felton as well.wont wind up in detroit though. schwartz mayhew are building through the draft and young talent not old rusty retired players.

  2. By NovaScotiaVike on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    TROY PALAMALU

  3. By Frederick Jones on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Tiki Barber not a fit here? What crime did he commit?

    Alot would depend on money. Is he going to demand millions to come back?
    Can he still play? 36 is old for an RB, but it’s possible.

    He could make a great 3rd down back for the Vikings. If he expects to start over A.D., he might not be worth the trouble.

  4. By dj on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    lets get Tiki Barber..

  5. By Parody on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t understand the reasoning behind the picks you posted Mike. If I were to take a guess, the first team I would put him with is Indianapolis. They rely mostly on Manning’s arm, so there won’t be any worry if he’s not a 15+ carry per game back. If my memory serves, the Colts had little for a running game last year, and that made a big difference when they got to the playoffs.

  6. By Mike Wobschall on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    I didn’t include the Colts because they have a veteran starter (Joseph Addai) and they have a young guy as their #2 RB (Donald Brown). I don’t think he fits there.

  7. By vikingsfan1955 on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    we have no need for barber we just have to let the backup we now have and drafted mature he did a decent job last yr when peterson was out. No he’s never going to be a featured back but he’s strong and on short yardage he will be valuable

  8. By Rogerthevikefan on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Bucs would be the most likely because of Ronde. Besides the fact that he would be a good mentor for Blount.

  9. By Justin on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    I think all you people that think barbers washed up, should go stick your head in a hole. Because i believe he would be good for any team. He would be a nice back up or even a nice starter.

  10. By Tabarnoosh on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    He may not even make a roster. From what I have read he’s filed divorce, lost his TV gig and needs money really bad. Motivation for sure but the guys been out of it for a few years and he’s no spring chicken.

  11. By Jason on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Please do not sign Tiki! He’s a lockerroom cancer! As soon as he retired, he ran his mouth about Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin because he couldn’t muster the courage to say anything to their faces. He’s 36 and only trying to come back becase his TV career went down the drain. His heart isn’t into playing football. Now that he was a horrible TV personality and is going to have a nice divorce settlement after cheating on his pregnant wife and then leaving her, he needs some quick cash to pay the bills. He’s a spineless, yellow bellied coward who doesn’t deserve a second chance.

  12. By Parody on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    @Jason – so you think the Packers need him the most?

  13. By Old School on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Who cares! The only reason this guy is even thinking about doing this is because his soon to be ex-wife…..who caught him cheating……..is going to take him for everything!

    What a joke!

    He needs the money !

  14. By Big Al on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    last year Vikes brass looked real hard at LT…having an experienced back to relieve AP would make a lot of sense, especially with the expectation that the offense will feature a young/inexperienced QB or an aging veteran.

  15. By Joe on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Toby Gerhart or a 36 year old has been? Hmmm…

  16. By NovaScotiaVike on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Maybe, if we’re lucky, Chuck Foreman is having marital problems.

  17. By Titus on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Old School is right on this one.

  18. By Titus on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Always look at motivation.

  19. By paul on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    36 years old, out of football 4-years, 10-year veteran min. $750,000.00

    In Viking terms this guy is just a rookie, Spielman should trade a #4-pick to the Giants for his rights. Why a #4? because he allready traded a #3 for Mr. Moss

  20. By NovaScotiaVike on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Have to hope Phil Simms and his wife aren’t getting along, then we might get a QB.

  21. By Titus on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Might as well get Boomer.

  22. By Titus on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Jim Kelly is only in his 50s.

  23. By NovaScotiaVike on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    I think the only obvious answer to this blog’s question is ………….Tom (Bieber) Brady.

  24. By Titus on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Kelly would outplay Tjack.

  25. By NovaScotiaVike on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    So would Regis.

  26. By Titus on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Nova, that is stretching it.

  27. By Sue G Vikes 4 Ever on Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Guys,
    We are scre@ed for next year! With Rodgers in GB and no one on the horizon for us….I fear we will lose “our team” to LA. This sucks!!! I will want to leave this state if we lose another team. We need an o-line, a d-line(what happned to them?) and definitely a secondary.

  28. By Titus on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    Stop the negativity. Get a grip.

  29. By rick on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    LOL at the tom bieber brady comment that was to good

  30. By Nick on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    Tommy Kramer?

  31. By Shawn on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    is Tommy ” 90 proof ” Kramer a free agent ?

  32. By PurpleandGoldBlood(NFL account) on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    you have never heard of ian johnson? he used to be on vikes practice squad and he was the boise state running back who people thought would win the heisman for awhile and he ran in the two point conversion against oklahoma in the fiesta bowl to win the game and then proposed to his girlfriend…know him now?

  33. By VikesfanNO on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    Don’t you EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER sign Tiki Barber!!!

  34. By James on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    We all know that Tiki would bring competiton to our young guns but AP will be our starter as long as he is in a vikings uniform.If he (Tiki) can get the job as a #3 back are younger guys need to improve if tiki can,t release him. Its all about competition so giving guys like brian robison a chance it will prove to be good

  35. By Rogerthevikefan on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    I heard Hershall Walker wants to come back.

  36. By TW VIKE on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    We dont need Tiki, QB & secondary help!!!!!

  37. By TW VIKE on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    Tommy would be an improofment over what we have now.

  38. By Mike on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    Man to h e ll with Tiki, All Day and Gerhart got this now for years to come and we dont need some vet coming in and messing that up, plus he might bring back Petersons fumbling problem

  39. By Woodboat on Mar 10, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike,
    While I don’t want Tiki on our team, I believe that he could have actually HELPED Peterson with his fumbling problem. As I recall, Barber used to put the ball on the ground a lot until he accepted coaching that brought his grip on the ball high and tight on his chest. He then became one of the best at holding onto the ball. Peterson should watch some film on the guy…

  40. By James on Mar 11, 2011 | Reply

    i am not possitive but AP only had 1 or 2 fumbles all season so tiki and his wife problem should stay in the big apple.Gerhart is going to be just fine backing up the best RB in the nfl. #3 RB will need to fit our style and put one on PS.

  41. By jimmy on Mar 13, 2011 | Reply

    I love this game. cheap jerseys I love it!LOVE IT!

  42. By DRXXXTASY on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Tiki would be a good 3rd down back for us and also a good motivator/trainer for AP to ensure he don’t drop the ball at crucial times (didn’t last year, but we weren’t the same team otherwise).

  43. By Jvike on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    People use your heads, I hate hearing people say the Vikes are going to LA how many years has that rumor been going around? I believe the Vikings will become non existent before they move to ta different state. California cant afford to make a home for another team right now.

  44. By DRXXXTASY on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    Why worry about a move at this moment when, we don’t even know if there will be football? smh

  45. By Jeremy Mathews on Mar 22, 2011 | Reply

    Tiki Barber would NOT be a good fit here because we already have A.P. and we have Garheart as a third down back, so Tiki would never play

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