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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Buccaneers not closing door on Tiki Barber

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

As long as Tiki Barber’s status remains in limbo, his name is going to keep getting tied to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It’s only natural. Barber’s twin brother, Ronde, is a cornerback who has spent his entire career with the Bucs. Tiki Barber, a running back, has been retired for four seasons, but reportedly is preparing to make a comeback.

Although Tiki Barber will turn 36 before the season and the Bucs are deep into a youth movement, coach Raheem Morris isn’t doing anything to end the speculation.

“You can’t close the door,’’ Morris said during a golf tournament Monday. “Anybody that can help your team, you want to look into it.’’

The Bucs and all other teams are prohibited from signing Tiki Barber while there is a lockout. They’ve got a feature back in LeGarrette Blount, but could use a backup. Third-down back Cadillac Williams is a potential free agent.

My take on this is that signing Barber is a long shot. But I’m not ruling this one out. He still could be valuable as a role player. He might not fit a youth movement, but you can say the same for his brother. Ronde Barber remains with the Bucs and has continued to play at a high level.

One other thing to keep in mind is that Ronde Barber and Morris are very close. He might be able to convince Morris that two Barbers are better than one.