Running back Tiki Barber plans to return to NFL

Posted March 08, 2011, at 5:28 p.m.
Last modified March 08, 2011, at 8:03 p.m.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After four years in retirement, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber is looking to get back into the NFL.

It won’t be with the Giants, though.

The Giants acknowledged on Tuesday that the 35-year-old Barber has asked to be taken off the reserve-retirement list and that they will release him once the league allows it. Teams cannot make roster moves during the current extension of the CBA talks.

Barber is the Giants’ career rushing leader with 10,449 yards, 22nd best in league history.

SI.com first reported that Barber filed paperwork with the NFL to end his retirement.

“We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when we are able to make the transaction, we will release him from our reserve-retired list,” the Giants said.

Barber retired after the 2006 season, the year before the Giants’ stunning Super Bowl win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots. He had two years left on his contract when he left the game for a job in television, so the Giants still hold his rights.

Barber his second career with NBC fizzled and he did not help himself with New York metropolitan area fans, criticizing coach Tom Coughlin and former teammate Eli Manning, saying the quarterback lacked some leadership skills.

Barber was booed by fans this past season when Giants unveiled their ring of honor in their new $1.6 billion stadium.

In its report, SI.com said Barber reportedly left his wife of 11 years, Ginny, for 23-year-old Traci Johnson, a former NBC intern. Ginny was eight months pregnant at the time. Soon after, NBC cited its morals clause and terminated Barber’s contract, which reportedly paid him more than $300,000 per year.

In June 2010, the New York Post reported Barber was broke and couldn’t pay his divorce settlement with his ex-wife.

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