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Tiki Barber says Bucs, Steelers on 'short list' for comeback

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 03:27 PM

Tiki Barber, hoping to make a pro football comeback once the NFL lockout ends, says he's interested in joining twin brother Ronde on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In an interview published Wednesday in USA Today, the New York Giants' all-time rushing leader said the Bucs and the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the "short list" of teams he'd like to play for.

His brother, cornerback Ronde Barber, is preparing for his 15th season with Tampa Bay. He has 40 career interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and a combined 11 defensive touchdowns.

Tiki Barber, 36, abruptly retired from the Giants after the 2006 season, one year before New York won the Super Bowl. An attempted broadcasting career fizzled when was let go after three years by NBC, then was the subject of tabloid headlines that said he left his pregnant wife for a 22-year-old NBC intern.

When he announced his intent to make a comeback earlier this year, the Giants said it would not be with them.

"We wish Tiki nothing but the best, and when we are able to make the transaction, we will release him from our reserve/retired list," Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said at the time. Teams are prohibited from making any personnel moves during the lockout.

He upset many in the Giants organization with remarks he made about head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning while working for NBC and was loudly booed by New York fans when he was inducted into the team's ring of honor last year.

Tiki Barber has 10,440 career rushing yards and 17,359 all-purpose yards. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times. He ran for 1,662 yards in the season before his retirement.

Former Giants coach Jim Fassel also invited Tiki Barber to play for the Las Vegas Locos of the United Football League.

While the Bucs may be on Barber's short list, it's unlikely he is on theirs.

"You can't close the door," Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris said in March, days after the NFL lockout began. "Anybody that can help your team, you want to look into it. Obviously, that's not the direction we're heading right now -- we're about youth and building through the draft."

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