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Marion Barber retires

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After seven years in the NFL, Marion Barber is hanging up his cleats.

Barber has decided to retire from the NFL, the Chicago Bears announced today.

“I want to thank everyone who helped me become a better player,” Barber told “I owe a lot to a lot of coaches, and am also very grateful to the owners and organizations I played for. Last but not least, I want to thank the fans for the support and inspiration they gave me.”

A 2005 fourth-round draft pick of the Cowboys, Barber was, at his best, an explosive and powerful runner with a nose for the end zone. In 2007 he carried 204 times for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns and was chosen to the Pro Bowl.

After six seasons with the Cowboys, Barber went to Chicago in 2011. His best statistical game came at Denver, when he carried 27 times for 108 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 32 yards. Unfortunately, Barber’s final season will be best remembered for two crucial mistakes he made in that game: He lost a fumble on one play, ran out of bounds while the Bears were trying to run out the clock on another, and paved the way for Tim Tebow to engineer a comeback as the Broncos won 13-10 in overtime.

Barber finishes his career with 1,156 carries for 4,780 yards and 53 touchdowns.

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95 Responses to “Marion Barber retires”
  1. wwwfella says: Mar 23, 2012 2:49 PM


  2. lionfan419 says: Mar 23, 2012 2:50 PM

    Good Guy and good career! for a few years in Dallas he was very fun to watch.

  3. kja22 says: Mar 23, 2012 2:51 PM

    Uh, why?

  4. nflfollower says: Mar 23, 2012 2:52 PM

    Marion the barbarian!!! Loved his running style his first few years, but his career is evidence that the human body can only take that kind of pounding for so long. Thanks for the entertainment, you were a beast!

  5. vietnambob2473 says: Mar 23, 2012 2:53 PM

    very underwhelming career. Running back shelf life is decreasing all the time

  6. daltex says: Mar 23, 2012 2:54 PM

    Cowboys fan here. We always knew this bruiser wouldnt last too long in the NFL. His violent style, while exciting, exacted costs on his body that he’ll be feeling for a long time. Marion, thanks for the great football and for your manly, fearless running style. I wish that play where you ran out of bounds would be forgotten because so many times we watched you give a big hit and get one more yard instead of run out of bounds. Good luck to Marion the Barbarian!

  7. Stupid Raiders Fan says: Mar 23, 2012 2:54 PM

    I always liked the way Barber played

    This is a typical short lived career of a good NFL RB. Just 4 years after his peak and he’s done.

  8. tayloner says: Mar 23, 2012 2:55 PM

    Won’t soon forget his “2 yard” run against the Patriots while he was with the Cowboys, the one where he was pushed back about 20 yards into the endzone and somehow made it out. He was an odd duck, though. Has straight refused to talk to the media for going on like 6 years now. Get the feeling the spotlight, and the NFL life in general, was just not his thing.

  9. dexterismyhero says: Mar 23, 2012 2:55 PM

    The Barbarian has left the building!!!!

  10. ishallcomment says: Mar 23, 2012 2:55 PM

    Barber is a great example of the short life of most RBs.

    they fizzle out quick.

  11. joe6ixpack says: Mar 23, 2012 2:56 PM

    Played about one game too many.

  12. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 23, 2012 2:56 PM

    He should of retired right after he lost the game to tebow.

  13. pol2324 says: Mar 23, 2012 2:57 PM

    Nice to see him go out with class. Can’t say that about a lot of NFL players

  14. TylerHills says: Mar 23, 2012 2:58 PM

    I was surprised when I first read this headline. But the shelf life for a running back is so short. And to be honest Marion has always been an overrated player. He never carried the load by himself. At first he had Julius Jones and then Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Even in college he split carries with Laurence Maroney. Then going to Chicago he was #2 behind Forte, so he was really never The Guy/featured back. Still he had a decent career, the guy was a 4th round pick out of Minnesota. There is still former Gopher Eric Decker in the league making an impact.

  15. 808raiderinparadise says: Mar 23, 2012 2:59 PM

    Guess Sam Hurd his Dallas & Chicago teamate was also his business partner off the field and helped him put away some $$$$$$.

  16. gr8whte says: Mar 23, 2012 2:59 PM

    He must have his money right.

  17. grandpoopah says: Mar 23, 2012 3:00 PM

    In his prime he was a heck of a tough guy to tackle. Good luck, MBIII.

  18. astrosfan75956 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    Loved him in Dallas, he’s a great guy.

  19. garyman1 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    With the signing of Bush and franchise tag on Forte, he wasn’t going to be a Bear anyway. Hopefully, he saved some of his money.

  20. dirtydrynn27 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    He was average at best,But when he played in Dallas the fans hyped him up so bad you would think he was better than Barry Sanders!….. I hate Cowboy hype with a passion,every year,hype,hype,hype!

  21. asw1028 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:01 PM

    Good Im glad he’s gone, I had Forte on my fantasy team last season and this scumbag vultured so many TD’s from him it made me sick.

  22. elmaxoh says: Mar 23, 2012 3:02 PM

    Retirements always make me sad.

  23. carnagekid261 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:02 PM

    Never a time when he didn’t fall forward during his heyday in Dallas.

    Good luck Marion The Barabrian.

  24. 1standlong says: Mar 23, 2012 3:03 PM

    Shelf-life of RBs is really getting shorter…and Marion is a guy who split carries his entire career too.

  25. jhastrello says: Mar 23, 2012 3:06 PM

    Enjoyed at times having him here in the DFW area and playing for the Cowboys. His career mirrored his running style. Short burts of high intensity, followed by what ultimately turned out to be very average play.

    He did perform with class, as evidenced by the way he is going out. A ‘tip of the hat’ for his demeanor and understanding of what it means to be a ‘pro’.

  26. fan555 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:08 PM

    The Tebow game meant nothing.
    The Bears would have gotten killed in the playoffs.

  27. tatipor says: Mar 23, 2012 3:11 PM

    It wasn’t your fault Marion, it was the hand of God. No shame on losing to the son of God.

  28. erod22 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:11 PM

    His style is not long for the NFL world.

    Marion Butts, Natrone Means, Christian Okoye, William Andrews, Shaun Alexander…..

    Bruisers don’t usually bruise for long.

  29. gbrown23 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:12 PM

    He was the man..good luck barbarian

  30. dsimp724 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:12 PM

    With tim.s blessing retire my child

  31. wmack1914 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:14 PM

    Don’t know if Barber retiring helps (by creating more urgency to fill the void) Forte or hurts him (by perpetuating the notion of short shelf lives for RBs)

  32. mavajo says: Mar 23, 2012 3:15 PM

    Retired at 28? Even for a running back that’s young.

  33. wmack1914 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:17 PM

    @erod22 I agree with everything you said except that last name on your list. Lifelong Bama fan, Bama grad, distant friend of Shaun. He was anything BUT a power runner. He’s a self professed weight room slacker. He was blessed with immense talent that included deceptive speed & quickness. He wasn’t a contact seeker

  34. bjtmeyer says: Mar 23, 2012 3:18 PM

    He’ll be wanting back in in a year or so. You just watch.

  35. Waffle 2.0 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:18 PM

    asw1028 says:
    Mar 23, 2012 3:01 PM
    Good Im glad he’s gone, I had Forte on my fantasy team last season and this scumbag vultured so many TD’s from him it made me sick.


    in one post, everything wrong with our society perfectly summed up and packaged neatly for your consumption.

  36. getadealdonealready says: Mar 23, 2012 3:21 PM

    His first few years in the league his was fun to watch, but that style of running has to take a toll on the body, I wish him the best seemed like a class act.

  37. kevinb73 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:22 PM

    I’m sure he saw the writing on the wall when the Bears picked up Bush from the Raiders. Wish the guy all the best.

  38. steelernationsparksjealousy says: Mar 23, 2012 3:25 PM

    He’ll be back when he’s facing bankruptcy next year.

  39. kmossg says: Mar 23, 2012 3:26 PM

    Guy went to my high school, just a beast on the field. Also, one of the nicest, and quietest guys I have ever met off the field, that may explain the fact that he was unwilling to talk to the media. Congrats on a great career.

  40. tebowmagic says: Mar 23, 2012 3:26 PM

    So now this Michael Bush signing makes sense. He now joins Glenn Coffee in the corner of shame! JK, Good career, had that terribly rough game, I hope that not why he quit because he was a a solid backup.

  41. suckmyhawk says: Mar 23, 2012 3:27 PM

    Sad. He was a beast. Guess all that hard running caught up to him.

  42. chadmurdigan says: Mar 23, 2012 3:27 PM

    Barber was great fun to watch, and I hope he enjoys the rest of his life. He’s a heck of a piano player, too. Check him out playing at

  43. zoogleea says: Mar 23, 2012 3:31 PM

    I can’t like him. He cost the Raiders the divisional title.

  44. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 23, 2012 3:33 PM

    Barber wasn’t even recruited as a running back out of high school. When he went to the University of Minnesota they were going to switch him to DB, but then he made himself into one of the best RBs to ever play at Minnesota and a Pro Bowl NFL running back. I’ll always remember the Vikings drafting RB Ciatrick Fason (who?) a few picks before the Cowboys drafted Barber in the fourth round.

  45. championcs3 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:33 PM

    He will be back…..

  46. duhbears says: Mar 23, 2012 3:33 PM

    One day in the 9 to 5 world, and he will say, man I’m only 29.

  47. drew44 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:36 PM

    Running that hard wears the running back body. He was fun to watch for awhile, but bece a shell of the ferocious runner he was in college and early in the NFL. hope he saved his money!

  48. pacodawg says: Mar 23, 2012 3:39 PM

    Thanks to all my fans. C u next year when I make my return. Marion

  49. jimmysee says: Mar 23, 2012 3:40 PM

    He is tough guy!

    Thanks for the memories, Marion!

  50. jarobinewsome says: Mar 23, 2012 3:42 PM

    I can break out my Cowboys now…he was fun to watch.

  51. vegaskid21 says: Mar 23, 2012 3:43 PM

    FUMBLE!!!! The Broncos win!!! Tebow does it again

  52. jarobinewsome says: Mar 23, 2012 3:43 PM

    My bad Cowboys jersey…

  53. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 23, 2012 3:46 PM

    Offers dried up after Marion gained the nickname “Demon Barber Of Fleece Street”.

  54. deepseabreeze says: Mar 23, 2012 3:58 PM

    shaun alexander a bruiser? lol. you must not have watched him play

  55. jmig320 says: Mar 23, 2012 4:05 PM

    As a Gophers fan (one of about five left), he was an excellent watch in college. Didn’t translate to great nfl success, but you can’t complain about lasting the better part of a decade in the pros. Better to retire than be the guy on the outside looking in as the 2012 season rolls around.

  56. gitchogameon says: Mar 23, 2012 4:06 PM

    @zoogleea: Barber had nothing to do w/Oakland not getting into the playoffs. Don’t be another turd in the zoo. The Raiders kept themselves from the Title and a Playoff appearance.

    Step Up Raiders – 2012

  57. gitchogameon says: Mar 23, 2012 4:07 PM

    ***Enjoy the Retirement Marion, You should have played another year… in Silver and Black!

  58. lifetimeskinsfan739 says: Mar 23, 2012 4:09 PM

    He could have played differently and had a longer career, but he played with more heart then his body could handle. I loved watching him play even as a skins fan. Respectable player.

  59. iluvbears says: Mar 23, 2012 4:12 PM

    Marion Barber Jr. or Marion Barber III?

  60. baywolfe says: Mar 23, 2012 4:16 PM

    Curious to see if he’ll sign the $1.00 contract to retire as a Cowboy.

  61. ultraback29 says: Mar 23, 2012 4:19 PM

    Despite that game at Denver, there are Bear fans like me who appreciate the contribution he made even though it was just one season.

    There haven’t been many Bear players, if any, in recent memory who would try to fire up the team and the crowd like he did, which I certainly welcomed.

    Nice to have a U of Minn. Gopher play for Chicago.

  62. johnnyru131 says: Mar 23, 2012 4:44 PM

    1st ballot HOF’er

  63. steeelfann says: Mar 23, 2012 4:55 PM

    Marion, to you goes our RESPECT. You played ball old school. Love ya man.

  64. rooney24 says: Mar 23, 2012 4:55 PM

    Decent career. Not too many Gophers make any kind of splash in the NFL, so it was nice to see him do well. I hope he is walking away without some of the lingering long term physical and mental damage that too many players suffer from. His yards per carry dropped the last couple of years, so he might have had trouble finding a job anyway.

  65. purplekoolaid1 says: Mar 23, 2012 4:58 PM

    Somewhere out there, Tiki is flabbergasted.

  66. tqaztec says: Mar 23, 2012 5:01 PM

    Not going to miss his stupid hopping around after gaining one yard.

  67. wehrmactblitz says: Mar 23, 2012 5:13 PM

    Conan the Barbarian, Marion the Barbarian….He’ll be back…..

  68. crindal3000 says: Mar 23, 2012 5:18 PM

    RB used to be one of the most coveted positions on the field now it’s a death sentence.

  69. tdk24 says: Mar 23, 2012 5:41 PM

    Come back and coach the Gophers RB’s, they need help!

  70. sb50 says: Mar 23, 2012 5:51 PM

    I am a huge eagles fan and I hated every time he touched the ball back in the day when he was a cowboy. He was a extremely explosive running back.

    He had a good career while being a fourth round draft pick.

  71. donjuan1906 says: Mar 23, 2012 6:24 PM

    Gotta reiterate what daltex said!

    As a Cleveland Browns fan, a city where we covet a good running back, loved the way Barber ran the ball! He ran it with a sense of violence and with the tenacity of a pitbull! Wish half of our roster had a ounce of his passion!

  72. backindasaddle says: Mar 23, 2012 6:39 PM

    It doesn’t say why he’s retiring. My guess is that his body is finished. Barber was an extremely physical type of back and seemed to relish contact. He was really fun to watch because you always knew he was going to make the tackler pay dearly for tackling him. I think that unfortunately his body must have paid a price for all of that brutal contact and that maybe that’s the reason he’s retiring after only 7 years. Sorry to see him go. I loved watching him carry the rock.

  73. jgava19 says: Mar 23, 2012 6:49 PM

    Do a flip!

  74. taintedsaints2009 says: Mar 23, 2012 6:55 PM

    he and Maroney had some great years over at the University of Minnesota.

    it was really the last time that team was good.

  75. kingjeremi84 says: Mar 23, 2012 7:00 PM

    youll be missed loved watching u finish games for the cowboys

  76. buckeyeboi says: Mar 23, 2012 7:11 PM

    I kinda suspected that he would have a short career a while ago when he was with the Cowboys. I say that because he used to run with such a brutal running style with no regards for his body. God Bless and I truly wish him the best for him in his retired life.

  77. morgan420 says: Mar 23, 2012 7:15 PM

    wow im shocked. i have no idea why he retired. could he maybe be trying to get out of chicago by doing so and then plans to “unretire”?

  78. timezyourz says: Mar 23, 2012 7:24 PM

    @Michael David Smith

    Respectfully, if your Chicago Bears could only muster an anemic 10 pts in 4 quarters of football plus OT they probably did not deserve to win and it seems unfair to make the scapegoat Marion Barber whom accounted for 60% of ‘Da Bears’ offensive output. I just feel like you took an unneccessary parting shot at one of the hardest runners the leagues seen in recent memory… Marion Barber gave 110% on every down for his team and thats what I’m gonna remember.

  79. asw1028 says: Mar 23, 2012 7:44 PM

    All of you people claiming to be sad are ridiculous, sack up and act like a man. If it makes you feel better Barber is an intelligent young guy, one of the few in the league. He’s retiring because he’s smart and knows he has more than enough wear and tear on his body. I guarantee you this guy managed his money well and he’ll be quite happy with his post-NFL life. He would make a great school teacher if he chose to go that route.

  80. jeziyo247 says: Mar 23, 2012 7:48 PM

    Did he just lose his passion to play the game of football?

  81. darthhitman says: Mar 23, 2012 8:04 PM

    kja22 says: Mar 23, 2012 2:51 PM

    Uh, why?

    WELL, Bears signed Bush yesterday. Barber, even after all those collissions has enough left to know if he can’t cut it in Chicago, you ain’t cutting it anywhere. Where else could he go from there where his kills would be useful…Notre Dame?

  82. raiderapologist says: Mar 23, 2012 8:10 PM

    zoogleea says: Mar 23, 2012 3:31 PM

    I can’t like him. He cost the Raiders the divisional title.

    raiderapologist is a facetious handle, but seriously, I must apologize for that post.

  83. bears46 says: Mar 23, 2012 8:31 PM

    Sb50– “back in the day” really? It was 5 years ago

  84. imongo says: Mar 23, 2012 9:14 PM

    Good man…and Gopher. Why are u retiring now? GOOGLE “Tiki Barber” and you might change your mind.

  85. xx4zu1 says: Mar 23, 2012 9:30 PM

    He retired because he lost the will to play that was apparent in Dallas 2 years ago.

  86. jpgusto says: Mar 23, 2012 9:34 PM

    This guy was a great downhill runner. As a Giants fan I would cringe every time the Cowboys had 3rd and short because this guy was basically automatic. Wish I could say the same for Brandon Jacobs . . .

  87. kilyin says: Mar 23, 2012 9:51 PM

    Marion Barber had a good 4 years. After that Jones completely overpaid him, now he’s retiring at 29 as a multi-millionaire. Good job, Barbarian, that’s how you’re supposed to play it.

  88. winskins says: Mar 23, 2012 10:19 PM

    I’m a Redskins fan, but Marion Barber earned my respect. He was impossible to bring down. He played fearless balls out football. He is a man among men, and the game will miss him.

  89. jcg23 says: Mar 23, 2012 10:44 PM

    He was a great running back for the Cowboys. They never should have given him the reigns as the starter. He was the finisher. A Bruising back you wanted to put in against a tired D in the fourth quarter.

    That game against the Eagles that he closed out the entire 4th quarter on one drive was supreme. He was just used wrong.

  90. jwreck says: Mar 23, 2012 11:28 PM

    Probably the most poorly utilized talent in recent NFL history. While he was with the Cowboys, every game against Dallas was an emotional roller coaster for DC fans. First horror, as he ripped off a 24 yard run on the third play of the game and gave everyone in DC, Maryland, and Virginia the impression that we were about to watch a 98-13 loss to the Cowboys; then relief, as Julius Jones got the next carry, for no gain; and finally delight, as the Cowboys sat Barber out for more or less the rest of the game, and Julius/Felix Jones managed to squeeze out a miserable 78 yard effort for the game, while Barber sat on the bench averaging 18 yards a carry for the same game. It always made me happy to know that Dallas was one substitution away from being a really good team during all those years of playoff drought.

  91. nycoccet says: Mar 23, 2012 11:55 PM

    Yo Marion don’t retire you can still be valuable to a team. I’d love to see you play for the Eagles. I know Shady is the starter but they can use a big bruising redzone back , you can extend your career and make some money without the beating of an every down back .I hope you reconsider nd the Bears allow you to play elsewhere bc I might get my wish bc the Eags need another back.

  92. mattw70 says: Mar 24, 2012 12:36 AM

    “Retired at 28? Even for a running back that’s young”

    Clinton Portis was 29 when teams didn’t want him anymore.
    He’s still trying to catch on with someone.

  93. mdwillwin says: Mar 24, 2012 1:39 AM

    Too bad he never rushed for a 1000 yds in a season! Way overrated for his actual production. He ran hard an broke tackles but for his numbers he was always average at best.

  94. NakedCowboy! says: Mar 24, 2012 4:40 AM

    this recession has been harsh on these RBs… they seem even worse off than american middle class…
    almost all running backs from 5 years ago are probably unemployed right now… the ones who survive cant get a contract… their teams are just tagging them… waiting for them to get done…

    they should introduce some savings programs targeted for RBs…

  95. lilmiddle78 says: Mar 24, 2012 9:37 PM

    I don’t believe this is evidence that the RB shelf life is getting shorter or that a running back’s body an only take the beating for a short period of time before you’ve got to call it a career or risk living life in a wheel chair.. I really believe that this is a case of a man who knows his worth and who is capable of walking away on his own terms. As soon as the Bears signed Bush he knew that he would be competing for just a few goal line carries. For a man who is used to having a major role in the offense, that is a sign that the league is moving on without you, wether you can still perform like the young studs or not!! He doesn’t want to bounce from team to team to try and crack someone’s starting lineup, that could take years. Not to mention that competing for a spot thru camp can take a major toll as apposed to owning the spot and practice is more like a walk thru. Hats off to “Marion the Barbarian”! He’s walking away early but he will not soon be forgotten!!

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