Why would a team trade for Barber?

The rumor mill, cranked by an NFL Network report, is buzzing about Marion Barber being available on the trade market.

The Cowboys’ decision-makers (Jerry and Stephen Jones) firmly declared at the scouting combine that they expected the team’s three tailbacks to all return next season, but they’d be foolish not to entertain trade offers for Barber. The problem is that another team would be foolish to trade for a back who is paid like a superstar but doesn’t perform like one.

Barber and superagent Drew Rosenhaus parlayed his lone Pro Bowl season, when he wasn’t even a starter, into a seven-year, $45 million contract. Barber is owed almost $8 million in a roster bonus and salary this season and a little over $23 million for the remaining four years on the deal.

Do you really believe a team will exchange a valuable pick (or picks) for the right to pay that much for a back who has never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season?

That’s not to say that Barber’s days as a productive committee back are done. If the Cowboys cut him, which would be a stunner this offseason, Rosenhaus would surely be able to get several other teams in on the bidding for Barber.

But it’s highly unlikely that Barber, a bruising back who has worn down as a starter the last two seasons, could get a contract similar to his current deal on the open market.

As far as the Cowboys convincing another team to give up picks to inherit that contract? There’s a better chance that Barber, never known for his speed, will break an 80-yard touchdown in next season’s opener.