Monday, June 20, 2011
Tiki Barber and Bucs a long shot
By Pat Yasinskas
John Clayton has a list of five possible landing spots for running back Tiki Barber, who has said he wants to come out of retirement and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of them.
I never would disagree with anything Clayton says because he’s a friend, mentor and one of the best in the business. However, I think Barber ending up with the Bucs is an extreme long shot. I know people are tying his name to the Bucs, largely because his twin brother, Ronde, plays for them.
There’s no doubt Ronde Barber has some clout with coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik. And the Bucs also could use some depth behind running back LeGarrette Blount even if they keep Cadillac Williams from leaving via free agency.
Morris has left the door open when asked about potential interest in Tiki Barber. But I think that’s more of a courtesy to both Barber brothers than an indication of any real interest in making a move. Morris has respect for both Barbers and he’s not going to come out publicly and say he’s not interested in Tiki.
But let’s look at the facts. Barber doesn’t fit one the Bucs are doing. He’s 36 and hasn’t played since the 2006 season. The Bucs were the youngest team in the league last year and they’re not going to abandon a youth movement after going 10-6 last season. Tiki Barber simply doesn’t fit Tampa Bay’s current profile.
Clayton’s list has the Bucs at No. 4. He starts the list with the Pittsburgh Steelers and I think he’s absolutely right on that one. The Steelers are more open to veterans and Ronde Barber probably has just as much clout with Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin (who used to be an assistant in Tampa Bay) as he does with Morris.