Bears running back Marion Barber called it quits earlier today.
His decision might have had something to do with the injuries that he dealt with over his career.
In Barber’s seven seasons in the NFL, he appeared in 99 games making 42 starts.
He rushed for 4,780 yards and 53 touchdowns on 1,156 carries while also reeling in 179 passes for 1,330 yards and 6 TDs.
He rushed for 422 yards and six touchdowns on 114 carries in his only season in Chicago last year.
Soon to be 29, Barber might not have been physically and mentally ready for an eighth season in the NFL.
The running back position is one that is very grueling. Barber was known as a bruiser at his 5’11″ and 220 lb frame.
A former fourth-round pick, Barber dealt with calf injuries last season and was exposed in Week 14, when he made two key mistakes.
Most Bears fans will remember him for those mistakes rather than the consistent effort he brought while in the game.
That’s very unfortunate. He may have run out of bounds late in the fourth quarter to stop the clock, when the Bears were up and lose a key fumble but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a workaholic.
He was a pounder on the field. He was a player that fought through tacklers and tried extra hard to get more yards after the initial contact.
He should have expected his departure from Chicago after the way his season ended. Michael Bush’s addition basically spelled the end of Barber’s one-year tenure in the windy city.
His retirement saves the Bears $2.0 million in cap space. The Bears can use some of that money to lock up RB Matt Forte or DT Amobi Okoye.
Barber didn’t end his career the way he probably would have wanted to.
That’s why a lot of analysts and fans are surprised by his retirement, but maybe he is being smart by departing early.
He could have easily latched on to a team in need of a veteran backup once he was released by the Bears.
His body might be safer than some of these running backs that play through their mid 30′s.
The Bears running back depth looks this currently: 1) Matt Forte, 2) Michael Bush, 3) Kahlil Bell.
Remember Forte hasn’t signed his tender. The Bears have until July 16th to ink him to a long-term deal or he will be playing this upcoming year out on the franchise tag they placed on him.
Kahlil Bell was tendered for $1.26 million, he could be of interest to other teams, but the Bears will be able to match any offer.
Former Bears QB Trevor Vittatoe, who spent training camp in Chicago last season is currently one of two quarterbacks under contract in Indianapolis.
Drew Stanton and Trevor Vittatoe are the only quarterbacks on the Colts roster as of now.
Andrew Luck will likely be chosen with the first pick in the draft, but it will be interesting to see if the UTEP product will be able to stick with the rebuilding Colts.