As Tiki Barber wonders why no team signed him after he announced his desire to return to the NFL, one of his old teammates says Barber should think back to the way he has treated people through the years.
Michael Strahan, a Giants teammate for Barber’s entire 10-year career, said on ESPN Radio that the reason NFL teams didn’t have an interest in Barber is less about his age than about his personality.
“I feel like everything else scared everyone away,” Strahan said. “It wasn’t even about football. I don’t feel like football was the reason that no one brought him in, because that’s the easy part for him. I think it was the reputation things that probably scared more teams away.”
Strahan said he personally doesn’t have anything against Barber, but that he thinks Barber’s reputation precedes him in the NFL.
“Did everything in our locker room work out great with him? Not all the time, but everything didn’t work out great with everybody,” Strahan said. “Did he get along with everybody? He probably didn’t get along — got along with less guys . . . because he wasn’t reaching out to a lot of the younger players.”
Despite Barber not always getting along with everyone in the Giants’ locker room, Strahan thought Barber would get a shot somewhere. Strahan said Barber keeps himself in good shape, even comparing Barber to Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, and he said he believes Barber would be able to contribute in the NFL at age 36.
“I was surprised by it,” Strahan said. “I feel like he has a few more years in him.”
Maybe Strahan is right, and Barber could still contribute on the field. But it’s looking like we’ll never find out, because of concerns about what kind of presence Barber would be in a locker room.