When Tiki Barber announced that he planned to attempt a comeback to the National Football League after four years away from the game, most Steelers fans, myself included, didn't think much about the possibility of Barber landing in Pittsburgh. It's just not the type of move we see the organization make. Then reports started to surface that linked Barber to the Steelers - how Barber would be a good fit for a team that might lose its veteran jack-of-all-trades running back, Mewelde Moore, to free agency; and how Barber and Mike Tomlin are familiar and comfortable with one another because of an existing relationship between the two. Still, I didn't think too much of the possibility.
Then on WFAN this morning, Barber joined Mike Francesa for a lengthy interview about his attempted return to football. After exchanging verbal jabs at each other over Barber's unsuccessful stint as a member of the media, the two strong personalities talked some football. Barber's agent Mike Lepselter was also on the line I should note, and he fielded a question about how many teams have expressed an interest in signing Barber once such transactions are allowed again. Lepselter didn't name any teams specifically, but he did note that a few teams have expressed serious interest in Barber, and that there were several coaches who Barber had a good relationship with. Again, no names were dropped, but part of me wondered if the Steelers and Mike Tomlin were one of those teams. Also worth noting while I speculate is how Barber mentioned the Steelers twice when talking about rediscovering his passion for football. He referenced the Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII and being at last year's Super Bowl in Dallas as two of the primary examples of how and why he missed being around the game.
Whether there's something to any of that, I don't know. Could be nothing; could be Barber's wishful thinking hoping to latch on with a perennial winner; who knows. But for the first time really, I'm beginning to wonder if there actually is a decent chance that the 36-year old Barber will resume his NFL career with the Steelers.
Read transcription of Barber's interview on WFAN on Sports Radio Interviews