Bucs Finalist For Tiki Barber

July 6th, 2011

Tiki Barber to the Bucs just may happen after all.

When Chucky and Bruce Almighty tried to lure Tiki away from a network TV gig that was in the embryonic stages of crash and burn, Tiki took a pass on playing with his twin brother Ronde and the Bucs.

Now, unless Tiki’s agent agent Mark Lepselter is trying to use the Bucs as leverage — and we all know what paragons of virtue agents are — Lepselter told Tom Bedulla of USA Today that the Bucs and the Steelers are the among the final teams on his wish list.

Lepselter’s approach to negotiations — once they can occur — also suggests financial considerations are not foremost.

“We’re not looking to turn this into an auction,” he says. “There are only a handful of coaches he would want to play for.”

Barber notes that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Bucs are on that short list. He also received an overture from former Giants coach Jim Fassel to join the Las Vegas Locos of the United Football League for a season that begins in mid-August.

Joe has significant mixed feelings on bringing in Tiki Barber. On one hand he hasn’t run through a defense in five years. Joe doesn’t care how much he’s pumping weights, that isn’t football. While the time off from the brutal punishment a running back takes may help Tiki — look how much it helped Ricky Williams who took off a year to smoke dope with the aborigines — the main question is, can Tiki shake off five years’ worth of rust?

Then there is the clubhouse lawyer factor. New York writers claim there wasn’t a back in the Giants locker room Tiki didn’t enjoy stepping on, including those of Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin. The young Bucs don’t need that kind of nonsense in the locker room, to be frank.

If all things are equal, Joe would rather have Cadillac Williams on the roster rather than Tiki. In a perverted way, Joe would love to see Mike Tomlin’s reaction the first time Tiki called out handsy Ben Roethlisberger and/or Tomlin himself.

16 Responses to “Bucs Finalist For Tiki Barber”

  1. DailyRich Says:

    They’re a finalist as far as Tiki is concerned. Whether the Bucs agree is a different matter.

  2. Brandon Says:

    Ricky taking a year off to smoke dope isn’t nearly the same thing. When Williams came back he weighed UNDER 200 lbs because he barely ate and never worked out.

    An athlete, especially a running back, can take time off and have it work beneficially for him as long as that player is taking care of himself. John Riggins was named 82 Super Bowl MVP AFTER taking the entire 81 season off. This is not to say that 4 years of rest and rust is going to help Barber, but considering the pounding that position takes, if he has been training diligently, he probably hasn’t lost much. The biggest issue to me is, how will his body react to the pounding at his age and given his likely current state of excellent health?

    That being said… I’m not particularly interested in Tiki. I loved him at UVa, enjoyed watching him in the NFL, and rooted for his career in media to not be a flop, but I really don’t think we need a 1-3 year max, longevity wise, performer at the 3rd down/receiving back role. Not only does it break from the team’s current philosophy (but Gruden would have jumped at the chance) but the liklihood that he can stay healthy at this point aren’t great.

    I’d rather see the Bucs take a shot at signing one of the 3rd down type backs that are currently undrafted free agents: Kentucky’s Derrick Locke, Ohio St.’s Brandon Saine, Auburn’s Mario Fannin, or WVU’s Noel Devine. All 4 are adept at catching the ball and all 4 have legitimate speed to threaten a defense.

  3. T in Orlando Says:

    Forget Tiki, I’d much rather have Caddy back, and if not Caddy, perhaps take a run a Reggie Bush (Bush would be a perfect compliment to Blount, and IF he can be had for 3 to 4 years at about $4 mil a year, I think would be a phenomal move).

  4. Dave Says:

    Caddy or Tiki is a wash because of of Tiki’s inactivity, so I would take Caddy back because he knows the system and is well respected.

    Other 3rd down back options out there may be the way to go over both of them however. Sproles, Bush, Williams, Barber, etc…

    I kind of like the idea of Sproles. He can catch, can break the long one, and was at his best as the second option. He also has a nose for the endzone.

    I still wonder what this all says about the health and long term of Huggins… he has shown so much potential to be the 3rd down, change of pace guy.

    Look forawrd to them announcing “THE LOCKOUT IS OVER” by Friday!!

  5. James in Memphis Says:

    If you are gonna bring in Tiki you might has well bring in Westbrook. He’s more of a third down back without the rust. Maybe even Kevin Faulk..

  6. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Like the other posters I’d rather see Caddy (if I had to pick one of the two).

    But you know Ronde’s going to be pushing hard for Tiki…..and Tiki’s going to be a man on a mission. I wouldn’t discount him at all. I think he could have 2-3 pretty productive years, and given what he’s been saying in the media it sounds like Tiki’s learned a lot the last few years.

  7. Meh Says:

    Tampa is about the worst possible fit for this guy. Please, please take a pass on him. We don’t need him, and I don’t want him.

  8. Garv Says:

    Cadillac Williams over Tiki Barber on this team for what I believe to be VERY obvious reasons. First and foremost, Carnell is trusted, can be trusted, to be
    a reliable blitz protector of JF, to be in shape, to be a great teammate, to be there as an example of perseverance and dedication. I might add he’s a pretty good RB when used as an alternative to Blount in the right situations.

  9. Joke Says:

    I think Tiki’s a decent backup plan if Caddy bolts.

    Tiki’s a smart dude who’s been knocked down a bunch of pegs by his failures post-football. I think he’ll come back with drive and desire to both perform well AND rehab his image, and will know better than to be a problem in the locker room. On top of that, he won’t want to let down his twin brother and the head coach his brother respects.

    The maindownside to Tiki is that he probably doesn’t have many years left in him (1 or 2, I figure). And this is a team being built for the long haul with young players. If this were a year or two from now and it looked like we were just “one piece away”, I think Tiki would be a good pickup. But the timing’s not right.
    On the other hand, Caddy doesn’t have that many years left in him, either, so maybe Tiki’s not such a bad fit if Caddy’s gone.

  10. Snook Says:

    The biggest issue with Tiki is the media circus he’ll bring to the team he plays for. The young bucs have no need for that. I’d be shocked if Tiki landed with Tampa for that only reason. #5 has more control over what this team does with its roster than we know. And Josh wants nothing to do with a media circus. Thats been shown already with the low let workouts and the rejection of Hard Knocks. All hail the franchise!

  11. Hunter Says:

    What this could also mean, is that Tiki feels the Bucs and Steelers have the best chances to win….lol

  12. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I don’t really want Tiki, but I really don’t think he would cause any problems in the locker room. Number one, I don’t think Ronde would let that happen. Number two, he’s been out of the league a lot longer and his role on the team will not (and never will be) the same as what it was in NY. He will probably be happy just to be on a team, and playing with his brother should be something he enjoys.

  13. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Tiki on the Bucs? What are you guys doing, smoking some of that wacky TJ weed again?

    1. Tiki doesn’t know the playbook – look how long it took Blount to catch on
    2. Tiki hasn’t played in 4 years – his GOAL was to be a TV personality so I’m SURE he’s in top notch football shape – NOT!
    3. Brothers on the same team – not a smart thing especially given that Rhonde is the quiet type and Tiki is out there.

    Why would you consider paying $3+ million for Tiki when you could have Caddy for that or less?

    I gotta wonder about some people…sigh.

  14. barton1017 Says:

    ok if we sign Tiki then we gota go get the missing Barber brother Shaun Alexander! lol has any DNA ever been done to see if hes related???????? lmao LETS GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    I hope Tiki plays in the NFL and plays well, just not in Tampa.

  16. Patrick Says:

    If we’re going to cut a running back, cut Graham since we don’t even allow him to carry the ball anymore. Don’t get rid of Caddy. He saved Freeman so many times last year on blocking and continued to be a leader in the locker room.