Marion Barber has retired from the NFL, the Chicago Bears announced Friday. Barber spent seven seasons in the league, six of them playing running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Though he showed lots of promise early in his career -- he averaged 4.8 yards per carry in his second and third seasons -- he never had the opportunity to become a feature back, either due to competition or injury. Barber never recorded a 1,000-yard season.
LM: #Bears RB Marion Barber has decided to retire from the NFL after 7 seasons.— ChicagoBears.com (@ChicagoBearscom) March 23, 2012
Barber, just 27 years old, had fallen down on the Bears depth chart by the end of last season, behind Matt Forte and Khalil Bell. The team brought on Michael Bush for depth after the season, creating speculation that Barber would be cut before the 2012 season started.
He is still a young back and retirement in the NFL is hardly finite (see also: Moss, Randy and Favre, Brett). Still, suitors aren't likely to be lining up at his door considering Barber's sharp decline in production in his last two seasons.
For more on Barber and the Bears, head over to the SB Nation blog Windy City Gridiron.