When Tiki Barber first announced his return my first reaction was "What?", followed by "What?" followed by "He must be broke". The last thought actually has some truth to it given his recent divorce and end of his broadcast career. But regardless of the motives for his return, he's back and people will want him on their team. And to make matters more interesting, Raheem wouldn't rule out his return, initially at least. "You never rule out anything. You look into it, you investigate it and make a decision as an organization.'' It seems that that decision has been made, though, as Rick Stroud reports that the Bucs aren't interested in Tiki Barber - a wise choice in my opinion.
Let me explain why acquiring Tiki Barber would be a bad idea. First, he wouldn't add much as a returner. While he was still a good running back when he retired at age 32, he's now 4 years older and even away from the game anyone's body deteriorates. More importantly being away from the game for 4 years means diminished skills and conditioning. Not to mention the fact that when he was productive he rushed behind a great O-line which contributed significantly to his success, he wouldn't have that kind of O-line here next season.
But surely Barber could contribute as a blocking back and a receiver out of the backfield? Probably, yes. But why would the Bucs pick up a relatively expensive veteran for such a role, who hasn't played in the Bucs' system? Instead the Bucs could re-sign Cadillac Williams, who would be mor expensive but would be here for more than one or two years. Alternatively they could draft a specialist rookie late in the draft. Not only would a late-round draft pick be much cheaper than Tiki Barber, he could also turn into a much better player down the road. Not to mention that a 22-year old is always going to be more explosive than 36-year old Tiki Barber.
Despite Ronde's presence with the Bucs, I don't think the Bucs need another Barber on the team. And neither do the Bucs.