Tiki wants to be picky when it comes to finding a team

From the sounds of things, Tiki Barber is planning to do some picking and choosing when it comes time to re-join the NFL.

The 36-year-old running back who has sat out the last four seasons is looking to jump-start his career. The New York Giants will release him from their reserved list when the labor situation is resolved and then Barber apparently has his mind set on just a few teams.

“We're not looking to turn this into an auction,” Mark Lepselter, Barber’s agent, told Tom Pedulla of USA Today. “There are only a handful of coaches he would want to play for.”

It will be interesting to see how many teams would want Barber to play for them. It would be surprising if very many had interest. It’s been rumored that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be landing spots, and Barber told Pedulla they’re on his short list.

Interestingly, Jim Fassel, Barber’s former coach with the Giants, said the longer the lockout goes, the more it’s going to hurt Barber.

“Tiki always kept himself in great shape," Fassel said. “There will definitely be an adjustment period for him to get in the flow of things and getting his body used to being hit again.

“If they don't have as much time (because of shorter training camps), starting players are going to get most of the reps. There is not going to be a lot of time for guys who need to prove themselves.”

Of course, Fassel would like to see Barber in the UFL with his Las Vegas Locos team. Maybe the Locos are on the short list too. Who knows?

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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