|Tiki Barber and his agent were "flabbergasted" but not "devastated" that no NFL teams were interested in his services. (Getty Images)|
On Monday, Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote that Tiki Barber and his agent, Mark Lepselter, were "flabbergasted" that none of the 32 NFL teams had use for the 36-year-old former running back who last played in 2006. King added, "I hear he’s devastated that no team gave him a chance."
The response -- from both fans and media -- was the same: no organization, no matter how desperate, needed a guy closer to 40 than 30, four years removed from his last meaningful snap, and worse: not considered much of a teammate. (On the upside: it was the first time in internet history that writers and commenters were in agreement on, well, anything. Tiki Barber: bringing the world together.)
Paul Schwartz of the New York Post spoke with Lepselter, whose story differs from King's retelling of it.
“That is not correct,’’ he told the Post Sunday. “I never said he was devastated. That term never came out of my mouth.’’
Does that mean the word "flabbergasted" did? Because it conveys the same message -- that somehow, two people on this planet couldn't conceive of a scenario in which Tiki wasn't welcomed with open arms back into the league four years after leaving it to pursue a television career. Plus, as PFT.com's Michael David Smith points out, "King never attributed the word 'devastated' to Lepselter — that was King’s word, based on how he has heard Barber is feeling. (Barber is free to clear it up and tell everyone how he’s feeling, but he isn’t talking to anyone right now.)"
And it appears Barber won't be talking anytime soon, either.
“This is the last time I am speaking on this subject in any way, shape or form." Lepselter continued. “You can’t worry about the things in life you can’t control and Tiki has moved forward accordingly."
So there you have it. Barber and Lepselter are moving on. For how long depends on if an NFL team needs running back depth at some point in the coming weeks and months. The Dolphins were the only team to give Barber a workout and that was in August.
CBSSports.com's Michael Freeman heard from general manager whose team needs running backs that Barber wasn't in his plans because, simply, "I don't trust him. That's pretty much it."
We'll say it again: there's always the UFL.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.