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.

95 responses to “Marion Barber retires

  1. 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!

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    they fizzle out quick.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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

    Good luck Marion The Barabrian.

  13. 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’.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. @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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. @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

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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”?

  35. @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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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?

  38. 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.

  39. 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 . . .

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. “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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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…

  48. 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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