Barber will not hold out

Cornerback Tiki Barber will thankfully not hold out, even though he has every right to. Barber will make $3.25 million this year, while the top corners in the NFL make about $10 million a year. Barber is the 27th highest paid corner, while his teammate, Brian Kelly, is the 34th highest paid corner, making $2.356 this year. Contracts for corners have gone up dramatically in the last couple of years.
"It's crazy. Me, as well as (Kelly), we were unfortunate we weren't on that wave," Barber said. "The demand started the year after he was a free agent, and it's gone pretty rampant since then. But I think we've got to be men about it or try to be men about it as best we can and accept the contract we signed unless somebody or some party is willing to deal with it.

"What do you want me to say? You look at my peers, and you tell me. You look at our play over those past couple years, and you tell me. That's all I can do about it. I continue to do what I do. It starts to get to you as you get a little bit older, but I'm a football player. It's either this way or you take away something you really love, and that's playing the game. Such is life."

Barber and Kelly are both underpaid, considering that they are two of the better corners in the league. Barber is a good character guy, who is a benefit to the community as well as to the team. He deserves to rewarded with a bigger contract when the Bucs have some money to spend. Or at least, the Bucs should be willing to offer him a front office job when he's ready to retire (after all Barber did graduate from UVA).

Barber admitted that he does not want to leave the area, and undoubtedly Keenan McCardell's contract holdout last year is fresh on his mind.

"Other people have got different agendas, have different ideas in mind," Barber said. "I love Tampa Bay. I love what this defense has allowed me to become as a player. Having to re-establish that would probably be a little difficult. It's not something I'm really willing to do unless I have to."

No comments: