Tiki Barber was critical of Eli Manning during his time with the New York Giants. However, once Manning announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this year, Barber, who was teammates with Manning from 2004-2006, believes he will be going to Canton, Ohio in the foreseeable future. Barber spoke to PopCulture.com about Manning's career, and he believes the Pro Football Hall of Fame will happen for the retired quarterback.
"He certainly will," Barber said the PopCulture.com exclusively. "He has a legacy that unique. Two championships, two Super Bowl MVPs, the top 10 in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Statistically, he's a Hall of Famer. There's a lot of negativity that floats around him. But it discounts the fact that football is a team game. While he lifted some of those bad seasons to successful ones, even the '07 championship year, nobody thought that they were going to a Super Bowl, and surely they weren't going to beat the unbeatable New England Patriots.
Barber continued: "Yet he created these iconic moments that make him a legend especially in New York and appreciated around the league. He may not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer because of the peers that will be going in around him, but he's certainly a Hall of Famer."
Barber might be right about Manning not making the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Some voters may not look at Manning as a legendary player despite his stats. However, the Ole Miss alum could get in simply based on there won't be too many players who will be entering their first year of eligibility in 2025. Other than Manning, Vernon Davis, Darren Sproles, Lorenzo Alexander and Luke Kuechly will be on the ballot for the first time five years from now, according to Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network.
Barber spent his entire career with the Giants, as he was drafted by the team in the second round in 2007. When Manning entered the league in 2004, Barber's career took off. In 2004, Barber was named to his first Pro Bowl after rushing for 1,518 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named to the All-Pro First Team in 2005 after registering a career-high 1,860 yards and nine touchdowns, which led to the Giants winning the NFC East. In Barber's final season, he tallied 1,662 yards and five touchdowns.