In 2006, Tiki Barber served as the face of an underwhelming Giants franchise. In the fall of 2005 (a season in which he would break off a 95 yard run and accrue 235 rushing yards in a single game), he would accompany Jeremy Shockey to the bedside of a dying Wellington Mara. The two were described as the football patriarch?s favorite current stars.
But after years of serving as the lightening rod for an otherwise underachieving offense, Barber abruptly left pro football. His departure left a significant hole in the Giants roster. The hole was not much unlike the one that Jerry Reese found himself staring at when Steve Smith hobbled out the door and into the Eagles arms.