Tag:Tiki Barber
Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:44 am
 

Dolphins sign Larry Johnson, dump Kory Sheets

Posted by Will Brinson

The Dolphins signed running back Larry Johnson on Tuesday and released running back Kory Sheets, the team announced Tuesday.

This is a historic moment because Johnson and Reggie Bush may be (unofficially, of course) the two least-talented tweeting running backs in NFL history.

Bush, as you'll remember, sealed his fate with the Saints by tweeting "it's been fun" towards his old team and city when they drafted actual Heisman-possessor Mark Ingram in April. He was promptly shipped to Miami this offseason.

Johnson's social media prowess is much more well-documented: not only has he dropped homophobic slurs on Twitter, but he also called out Todd Haley there, and eventually managed to generate what I believe is the first Twitter-related suspension in sports history.

Of course, that was the middle of 2009, back when Johnson was already considered on the wrong side of relevant -- he was eventually cut by the Chiefs, landed with the Bengals for the remainder of 2009 and then found himself in Washington last season, where he piled up, um, two rushing yards before being released by the Redskins.

So we're a good ways removed from Johnson having any legitimate success. Needless to say, the Dolphins can't be expecting too much from him, especially with Daniel Thomas and Bush already on the roster and expected to get the majority of carries.

Perhaps most importantly from all of this, though, is the fact that Miami was so desperate for running back depth that they were the only team to bring in Tiki Barber for a workout. They did that before signing Johnson ... and still signed Larry Johnson.

Which really should put an end to any "Tiki comeback" rumors.

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Tiki Barber has had one workout this preseason

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Remember when Tiki Barber announced this spring that he was coming out of retirement? And the scuttlebutt that several teams (including the Steelers and Buccaneers) would likely give him a shot at redemption? Well, we're more than three weeks into training camp and Barber has had a grand total of one workout, with the Dolphins, and he left Miami without a contract.

That was on August 3. We haven't heard a word from him since, even though the Patriots are inviting every old-timer with a pulse to Foxboro to go through the paces (they even signed a few).

With the NFL regular season three weeks away, Barber's window of opportunity appears to be slamming shut. The New York Daily News Gary Myers writes that despite Barber's complicated back story, the former Giants running back has earned the right for another shot.

"Regardless of what you think of how Barber left the Giants in his prime - and it wasn't pretty - or the comments he subsequently made about Eli Manning or Tom Coughlin, or how he split from his wife while she was pregnant with twins, that has nothing to do with this simple fact: He deserves a chance to prove he can still play," Myers wrote Saturday.

"Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress each missed two full seasons serving jail time and had no trouble finding work. But nobody wants to touch Barber."

For all the reasons Myers cited above. Both Vick and Burress were considered good teammates -- something we can't say about Barber -- and both possessed enough raw ability, even after stints in prison, that several teams thought signing them was worth the risk.

Barber's a 36-year-old running back four years removed from his last NFL snap. In football terms, 36 might as well be 86. And his inability to get along with teammates and coaches negates any on-field talents he might have left.

"Somebody might give him a tryout. Nobody is going to give him any money," one GM said when Barber announced in March he was coming back. "I wouldn't even acknowledge it. I would rather read the cartoons. What running back plays at 36? Who wants to bring a guy in for one year?"

Barber's best shot at resurrecting his NFL career might come after the regular season is underway and only if a team has a run on injuries at the running back position and are in desperate need for help. Otherwise, his un-retirement announcement will be just that: words.

Myers adds that "Barber had two years and $8.2 million left on his Giants contract when he retired. He turned down a four-year, $13.2 million deal to work at Fox, where he built up a lot of good will and on-air experience during his playing days, to accept NBC's three-year, $5.7 million deal. He retired too early and then took the wrong TV deal."

Unlike when Barber abruptly retired in 2006, his NFL career is now out of his hands. On the upside, former Giants head coach Jim Fassel has extended Barber an offer to join UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:54 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 8:58 pm
 

Report: Clinton Portis tried out with Patriots

PortisPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering what happened to RB Clinton Portis -- aside from the fact Ryan Torain is still waving to him in his rearview mirror -- the Boston Herald has the news that the former Redskins star was in town Friday to work out with the Patriots.

Portis has had a number of good years for the Broncos and Redskins, gaining at least 1,200 yards in six of the seven seasons between 2002-08,and it’s a tad surprising his name hasn’t been brought up more as a viable free agent (I mean, when Tiki Barber is getting more pub than you, that’s not a great thing). But then again, Portis is 29 years old -- certainly middle age at his position -- and he’s been slowed down by injuries.

Last year, the loss of Portis for 11 games (he only carried the ball 54 times for 227 yards after suffering a torn abdominal muscle) led to the impressive play by Torain, hastening Portis’ departure out of town, especially since he was going to be paid $8.2 million for 2011.

It seems rather unlikely the Patriots are the team for Portis, though. They’ve already got young talent in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, as well as draft picks Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Portis land somewhere this season.

As the preseason continues, there are bound to be teams who wouldn’t mind having Portis around to help build depth. Wouldn’t you rather have him than Barber anyway?

First, he'll have to get in better shape. As the Boston Globe writes, Portis apparently wasn't at all fit during his tryout after having to lose 25 pounds in two weeks. Hmm, maybe teams would rather have an in-shape Barber rather than an eccentric overweight Portis.

UPDATED (8:56 p.m. ET): Player agent JR Rickert disputes the Globe claim. He tweeted that Poris weighed in at 222 pounds and there is "absolutely no truth to him being overweight."

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Report: Tiki Barber works out for Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering if you would ever again hear about Tiki Barber’s attempted comeback, wonder no more. Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer is reporting that Barber had a tryout with the Dolphins on Tuesday.

Tiki Time
Glazer writes that Barber looked good working out, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll catch on with Miami because the Dolphins want to test out their current RBs.

The Dolphins backfield certainly will look new this season after drafting Daniel Thomas in the second round and then dropping Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Then, they acquired Reggie Bush to complement Thomas.

It’s possible Barber could find a place on the squad, but Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets also are on the Dolphins depth chart, and those two are probably who Miami personnel want to see before they think about making a move on Barber.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:39 am
 

The biggest releases of the day

WeaverPosted by Josh Katzowitz

We had some surprising, and plenty of not so surprising, names who were released today, the first day teams could actually waive players.

Here are a few of the most-significant pink slips handed out today (we already told you about Vince Young and Tennessee here and the Baltimore guys who have been cut and the Dallas players who are gone).

-Former Vikings S Madieu Williams: He didn’t play well last year, and he’s teetering on being a bubble player in the league. Although Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier originally said he wanted to see what Williams would do in training camp, he ultimately decided not to find out. The fact Williams was supposed to make $5.4 million this year didn’t help his chances.

-Former Saints CB Randall Gay: After missing most of last season while dealing with the effects of a concussion, New Orleans released Gay. He would have cost New Orleans $5 million, and considering he was stuck behind Tracy Porter on the depth chart, this seemed like an easy call.

-Former Eagles FB Leonard Weaver: The former Pro Bowler was caught off guard by this move. This is what he wrote in a series of tweets (sics, of course, apply): “Hey there eagles nation, I'm sorry to say but I just found out I was released by the Eagles. … The kicker behind that is that the organization didn't call me and tell me. I had to find out by a reporter. … Now I have mixed feeling about that because I gave everything I had to the organization, and I would think that they would atleast call... And Let me know what was going on, but as I have learned over the years fans, business is business. …However I wish the best for the Philadelphia Eagles.”

-Former Chiefs G Brian Waters: He was a Kansas City mainstay for more than a decade, and the news of his release was met by sadness from some of the city’s media. Said Waters, who played 163 games in a Kansas City uniform: “The Chiefs and I have mutually agreed on this decision and although I look forward to continuing my career, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Kansas City."

-Former Giants RB Tiki Barber: I know it’s hard to believe, but for some reason, New York severed ties with the former NBC broadcaster.

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 11:47 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 12:02 am
 

Josh Freeman talks Bucs, lockout, FA's, Tiki

Posted by Will Brinson

Josh Freeman had a hell of a season in 2010, nearly leading the Buccaneers to the playoffs as Tampa Bay posted a surprising 10-win season.

We had a chance to catch up with the Bucs quarterback over the weekend at Nike's 7-on-7 tournament, "The Opening," and we asked him about the Bucs' future, how they're building long-term, whether he thinks Tiki Barber would be a good fit with the team, how he'd feel if the Bucs were spenders when it came to free agents and how he manages to keep cranking out fourth-quarter comebacks.



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Posted on: July 10, 2011 12:01 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Ronde isn't sure Tiki fits in with Buccaneers

R. Barber (left) says he's not sure his brother, Tiki, playing for Tampa Bay is a great idea (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber, who has been largely silent whenever anybody brings up the name of his twin brother Tiki, doesn’t necessarily think the possibility of “Tiki to Tampa Bay” makes a whole lot of sense.

Not now anyway.

"It was an entertaining thought four or five years ago," Ronde told the St. Petersburg Times. "I don't know how realistic it is now. I've not had a chance to talk to (GM) Mark (Dominik) or Raheem (Morris) about it. Maybe the situation would be a little different under different circumstances. But I know he wants to go somewhere where feels like he's wanted."

Where would he be wanted? Um, not sure. Probably the UFL, right Jim Fassel? But if Barber thinks he can catch on with the Steelers or the Buccaneers -- his two stated preferences -- he’s probably very wrong about either spot (even though it sounds like Cadillac Williams isn’t long for Tampa Bay).

"We're not looking to turn this into an auction," Tiki's agent Mark Lepselter said last week. "There are only a handful of coaches he would want to play for."

Tiki Time
As of now, any kind of auction for Barber probably would be welcome. I mean, if your own brother has doubts about whether you’d fit into his team, that’s not a strong endorsement of your return from retirement. That’s not to say, though, that Ronde is totally crapping on his brother’s comeback attempt.

"He's prepared. He looks like [he] did pre-retirement," Ronde said. "He really dedicated himself and has been in there working out for four months. The only thing he doesn't have is the on-field endurance.

"He's very adept at what he used to do. I don't see him having a problem. The one thing he can't fail at is football. He had somewhat mastered it when he retired."

I’m not sure if that last line is Ronde being sarcastic or if it’s some kind of shot at how Tiki did NOT have retirement mastered. Either way, at this point, it sounds like Tiki might be lucky to end up in the NFL again.  

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Fassel reaches out to Barber about playing in UFL

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Earlier this week, Tiki Barber announced that he'd like to play for the Buccaneers or the Steelers.

Not surprising: Barber wants to play for winning franchises. Even less surprising: Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh appear to have no interest in a 36-year-old running back with a ton of baggage who last played an NFL down in 2006.

But now, after a rough patch that included losing his $2 million-a-year gig with NBC and leaving his wife and kids for a 20-something former NBC intern (all while no one -- coaches, players, his brother -- came to Barber's defense), things seem to be looking up. Sort of.

Jim Fassel, the former Giants coach who's now the general manager and coach of the UFL's Las Vegas Locos, has reached out to Barber about joining his team.

"Tiki always kept himself in great shape," Fassel told USA Today recently. "There will definitely be an adjustment period for him to get in the flow of things and getting his body used to being hit again."

Tiki Time

Realistically, Barber's best shot to play professional football again will come in the UFL. And if we're to believe his agent when he says that money isn't the main issue, then the UFL makes even more sense.

As for what kind of compensation we're talking about, Wikipedia states that "In 2010, players earned $6,250 per game, for a total of $50,000 in the regular season; participants in the 2010 UFL Championship Game were paid a total of $10,000 each, with an additional $10,000 going to each player on the winning team. Starting quarterbacks earned a $200,000 salary."

That's pocket change for NFL players, but $50,000 was the median household income in the U.S. for 2009. And even if Barber does need the money, there aren't many jobs out there that will pay him more than that; the odds that he gets another television gig anytime soon are long, as are the chances he makes an NFL roster.

"If [NFL teams] don't have as much time [to practice because of the lockout], starting players are going to get most of the reps," Fassel said. "There is not going to be a lot of time for guys who need to prove themselves."

If Barber needs added incentive to play for an old coach in a new league, Fassel led the Locos to back-to-back championships in the first two years of the five-team league.

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