Athletes Who Retired Before Anyone Expected

26. Tiki Barber

During the late ’90’s/early 2000’s, Barber was one of the league’s best running backs. The 3-time Pro Bowler rushed for over 10,000 yards throughout his career. Barber even notched a First Team All-Pro denotation in 2005. Despite all of this, the rusher made the controversial decision to step away from the game in 2006.

At 31 years of age, Barber reportedly turned down a two-year/$50 million contract and chose to retire. Barber — a highly intelligent and gregarious personality — opted to pursue his luck in the field of broadcasting. The year after Barber left, the Giants won the Super Bowl versus the then-undefeated New England Patriots. Surely, the G-Men would’ve loved to have had Barber in the backfield for that triumphant run in the playoffs.

Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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