Tuesday afternoon turned into a Tiki party -- as one-half of the Barber brothers combo announced his "de-tirement." The world caught fire with excitement and good-natured barbs over the return to the NFL for the 35-year-old. Also, everyone wondered where he'd end up. We know one thing for sure, though: it will not be with the New York Giants.
"We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when able to make the transaction, we will release him from reserve/retired list," the Giants said in a statement released by the team.
So where does Tiki go now? Well, somewhere where the team is in need of running back help but not expecting too much. After all, via the NFL's stat feed on Twitter, here's the most rushing yards in NFL history by someone after they turned 36-years-old: Marcus Allen, 1335 yards; Doug Flutie, 1236 yards; Steve Young, 681 yards; John Riggins, 677 yards; and John Elway, 561 yards.
You'll notice only two of those guys are running backs. That's because it's just really, really, REALLY difficult to make an impact as a ballcarrier in the NFL in the mid-30's. And that doesn't discount the fact that Tiki's missed the last four years after retiring and hasn't necessarily -- though we don't know this -- kept himself in shape.
The two best bets, in my mind, seem to be the Buccanneers and the Broncos. Why? Well, Tiki's brother Ronde just signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay (he's likely to retire after 2011) and the brothers have always wanted to play together. Additionally, Barber would be a pretty nice third-down compliment to LeGarrette Blount at a very cheap cost.
Denver makes sense because John Fox has openly stated he wants two "good" running backs, and coached Tiki when he was the defensive coordinator with the Giants in the late 90's and early 00's.
Tampa gets an obvious advantage, of course, for family reasons, but it probably doesn't matter -- the odds of Tiki being effective wherever he ends up in 2011 are pretty slim.
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