Former Giants teammates Plaxico Burress and Tiki Barber both tried to get back into the NFL after long absences this season. Burress was welcomed back with open arms and signed with the Jets. Barber was largely ignored and has been described as devastated and flabbergasted that no one will sign him.
It turns out that Burress is flabbergasted that no one will sign Barber, too.
“It’s crazy,” Burress told the New York Post of Barber’s failure to find a team. “He’s better than half the backs in the league.”
It’s true that when Barber and Burress last played together — in 2006 — Barber was better than half the backs in the league. You could make a case that Barber, who topped 2,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his last three seasons, was better than all the other backs in the league. But it’s 2011 now, and the idea that Barber, at age 36, is still better than half the backs in the league is farfetched.
Still, Burress holds out hope for his old teammate.
“I’m very surprised he’s not on somebody’s roster,” Burress said. “But it’s just Week 4. Maybe somebody will call him.”
That’s doubtful. The Dolphins called him in for a workout, and after getting a look at Barber declined to bring him into training camp. And no other team has even gone so far as to kick the tires on Tiki. If any NFL team believed Burress might be right that Barber is better than half the backs in the league right now, Barber would be in the league right now.