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Tiki Barber plans to unretire, play again in 2011 NFL season


NEW YORK -- Tiki Barber has alerted the NFL that he plans to come out of retirement and play in the 2011 season, sources close to the former New York Giants running back said Tuesday.

The agency that represents Barber confirmed the news on its Twitter account.

The Giants acknowledged on Tuesday that Barber has asked to be taken off the reserve-retirement list and that they will release him once the league allows it. Teams cannot make roster moves during the current extension of the CBA talks.

The 35-year-old back, who turns 36 in April, retired in 2007. He played 10 seasons, all for the Giants, finishing his career as the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

After retiring, Barber was hired by NBC to be a correspondent on The Today Show and Football Night In America. He made headlines for being critical of the motivational style of his former coach, Tom Coughlin, and scoffed at former teammate Eli Manning's leadership abilities. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl in the first season after Barber's retirement.

Barber's personal and professional life have been in shambles recently. In April 2010, Barber reportedly left his wife of 11 years, Ginny, for 23-year-old Traci Johnson, a former NBC intern. Ginny was eight months pregnant at the time. Soon after, NBC cited its morals clause and terminated Barber's contract, which reportedly paid him more than $300,000 per year.

In June 2010, the New York Post reported Barber was broke and couldn't pay his divorce settlement with his ex-wife.

Barber was booed by fans this past season when Giants unveiled their ring of honor in their new $1.6 billion stadium.

Barber's twin brother, Ronde, recently signed a one-year extension with the Buccaneers, where he's been a cornerback for 14 seasons.