In rush to retire? Giants' Barber 'leaning toward' it

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants do
not want to think about life without their all-time leading
rusher. But they may have to sooner than expected.

Tiki Barber confirmed on Wednesday during a conference call with
the media that he is "leaning toward" retiring after this

"I've been considering [retirement] for a few years now,"
Barber said. "It comes to a point where your body just doesn't
want to take it anymore, you see other opportunities out there.
I'm excited about the rest of my life as well as I am about this
football season. So we'll see what happens.

"I don't think there are any definites in life. It's too early
in the year to say it for sure. But I'm leaning toward it, for

The 31-year-old Barber is in his 10th season with the Giants. He
was named to the Pro Bowl each of the last two years and leads
the NFL with 533 rushing yards this season. Last Sunday, Barber
rushed for a season-high 185 yards in a 27-14 win at Atlanta.

Barber is signed through the 2008 season. If he retires at the
end of this season, Barber would give up $8.3 million in salary.

Major networks have expressed interest in Barber's broadcasting
talents. Barber already spends Tuesday mornings as a co-host of
"Fox and Friends," a general news program on Fox News.

"I've had a lot of opportunities," Barber said. "I've been
involved in a lot of different things outside of football and
they've piqued my interest, whether it's philanthropy or working
at Fox or doing radio shows or writing children's books, now
more advanced books. There are a lot of different things I want
to get into."

In 2005, Barber rushed for a career-high 1,860 yards and caught
54 passes for 530 yards. The combined 2,390 yards was the
second-highest single-season total in league history. His 8,870
yards from scrimmage since 2002 is the most in the NFL.

"A lot of guys talk about retirement when they feel like they
don't have it anymore," Barber said. "For me, it's not about
that. It's about other things, things that have literally been
in place for me for eight years now. It's a plan. It's not by
accident the things that have happened to me in my life, outside
of football."

A second-round pick in 1997, Barber has rushed for 9,320 yards
and is second in franchise history with 550 receptions for 4,898
yards. Amani Toomer is the club leader with 555 receptions.

Barber owns 11 team records, including most rushing yards in a
game with 220 against Kansas City last Dec. 17. He is 21st
on the all-time rushing list and 14th on the all-time list in
total yards with 15,955.

Brandon Jacobs, a fourth-round pick in 2005, appears to be the
heir apparent to Barber. He has rushed for 177 yards and two
touchdowns on 34 carries this season.