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Tiki Barber isn't talking about comeback

Former National Football League player Tiki Barber listens

Former National Football League player Tiki Barber listens to testimony during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries on Capitol Hill. (Oct. 28, 2009) Credit: Getty Images

Was Tiki Barber's decision to come out of retirement motivated by financial need in the wake of a fizzling media career and a divorce?

There was widespread speculation to that effect when the news came out Tuesday. But Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter, said Wednesday, "I am familiar with Tiki's accountants. If any of those folks lending their opinions on Tiki's financial state are part of the firm, maybe they have more insight than I do."

So what was it? Barber was not elaborating Wednesday. Lepselter said that after interviews Tuesday with Fox Sports and his most recent employer, Yahoo, Barber plans to focus on preparing to play rather than talking further about it.

"It was something we've been kicking around for a little bit," said Lepselter, who would not discuss which teams might pursue Barber, other than to say there will be some. "I am confident that when Tiki is physically and mentally prepared, there will be interest from teams," he said. The Giants plan to release Barber as soon as the NFL labor situation allows them to.

Among the harshest of the critics of Barber's return to football was ESPN analyst Antonio Pierce, a former teammate who long has been on poor terms with him. "He's paid to be objective and he's not objective," Lepselter said of Pierce.

New York Sports