Trainer: Tiki Barber Nearing NFL Shape; Fassel Says UFL An Option
NEW YORK (WFAN) — Does Tiki Barber still have what it takes to absorb the NFL’s weekly grind?
Barber’s trainer, Joe Carini, told the New York Post on Tuesday that the former Giants running back has been working out at his gym every day — including weekends — since February 19.
“I think this guy is going to get back and do what he does,” Carini, owner of Carini’s House of Iron, said.
The Giants affirmed on Tuesday that Barber has requested to be taken off the reserve-retirement list. A return to New York seems impossible considering Barber’s history with the franchise.
Even Carini admits that the running back has “got a little work to do” in the training department.
“He keeps coming every day, we’re going to get it done,” Carini said. “The truth of the matter is he has no injuries. His knees feel great, his back is great, his shoulders are in great shape.”
Barber tops the Giants’ record books with 10,449 rushing yards, 22nd best in NFL history.
“Listen, I’m not going to put anything past him,” Carini said. “I’d say he’s more motivated than before because he’s got a bug up his —. He’s going to hook up with a team that will put him in the right situation, maybe as a third-down back. The age factor, that’s nonsense. I’m not going to put anything past what we can get done.”
But what if the NFL doesn’t bite?
Former head coach of the Giants, Jim Fassel, told the NY Daily News that Barber would be welcome to play with his team, the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives.
“He says he wants to play in the NFL,” Fassel said. “If he wants to come play in our league, I would be happy to have him.”
That would solve Tiki’s where-to-play scenario, but not his reported financial dilemma.
Last June, the New York Post alleged that Barber couldn’t foot divorce settlement bill leveled by his ex-wife, Ginny.
United Football League players were paid around $50,000 last season, with $10,000-20,000 bonuses for making or winning the championship game, a far cry from the salary Barber was earning with the Giants.
Will Tiki Barber ever play another down of pro football? Let us know in the comments below…