Tiki Barber Interested In Playing For Steelers, Buccaneers

Tiki Barber's interest in returning to the NFL after four years off is by now well-known. On Tuesday, though, he identified the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as two teams for whom he might be interested in playing.

"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.

My tolerance of, and optimism regarding, the many comeback stories we've discussed during this lockout-plagued NFL offseason seems to be much lower than most people's. Still, my reaction to this, as a Steelers fan, is a great big no. Not only has Barber spent four years away from football, but at 36, he's well past the age when most running backs are effective.

Now, obviously, he won't be replacing Rashard Mendenhall or LeGarrette Blount as a starting NFL running back. But even as a backup, NFL teams can do better. The Steelers, for example, have Isaac Redman and possibly Mewelde Moore to back up Mendenhall, and after that, they have two youngsters in Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch to take a look at as well. I suppose it's possible that Barber could fit in there somewhere, but I doubt it.

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