Robert Barber’s legal troubles continue to haunt him: After initially agreeing to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers, the former WSU nose tackle found out that the offer had been rescinded before he could send the contract back.
The reason? Carolina didn’t know about Barber’s pending felony charge for assault.
A source close to Washington State defensive tackle Robert Barber said that the Carolina Panthers rescinded an undrafted free-agent offer to Barber after learning he was facing trial on second-degree felony assault charges.
The source said the offer to Barber was made Saturday night, and Barber accepted, but it was taken back Sunday morning. According to the source, Barber said the Panthers did not have knowledge of the pending case when they originally offered the contract.
This is the same case that got him expelled from school, caused him to miss a few games, then saw him get reinstated after court intervention. NFL teams really do have top notch scouts working for them, I always say!
Look, I’m not going to feel too sorry for Barber here — after all, there’s video evidence of Barber seeming to punch a dude much smaller than him in the head repeatedly. (However whether that caused any major injuries is disputed by Barber’s attorney, Steve Graham, who has filed a motion to dismiss based on this dispute.) I know some have held him up as a martyr, and that’s certainly their right to hold that opinion, but I’m not quite willing to go there, despite the fact that he was the only one at the fight who was charged.
That said, the timing of this absolutely stinks for Barber. There’s no transparent reason why the investigation process lasted so long, and this all really should have been resolved one way or the other by now, when it’s starting to interfere with people getting on with their lives. As we’ve gone over before, there’s just something about it that feels targeted and unfair.
The good news from Barber’s perspective is that this could still all work out. He’ll miss Carolina’s upcoming rookie mini camp, but if you believe Barber’s agent, the Panthers want to see what the resolution to the case is before they move forward.
This story was updated to reflect Graham’s motion to dismiss.