Bucs will bid farewell to “iconic” Barber on Thursday

Getty Images

Yes, veteran cornerback Rondé Barber will retire after 16 NFL seasons.  On Thursday, the Buccaneers will make it official via a 2:00 p.m. ET press conference.

And it sounds like another Ring of Honor induction and jersey retirement eventually will happen.

“Rondé is synonymous with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, establishing himself as one of our franchise’s iconic players over a 16-year, Hall of Fame-worthy career,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said. “When anyone thinks of Rondé, they think of a true professional and leader.  He approached every day the same, giving everything he had to make himself and his teammates the best they could be.  We will miss him.”

Barber became a fixture in the Tampa Two defense, tackling and covering receivers, sacking quarterbacks via the surprise blitz, and scoring 14 career regular-season return touchdowns.

“You heard the argument, ‘Oh, he’s only a system guy.  He can only do this,'” Barber told JP Peterson of TampaBaySportsCentral.com.  “Well, in a defense that everybody started playing, I did it better than anybody else.”

He definitely did.  The only question is whether Rondé will make it to the Hall of Fame.  Go ahead and cast an early ballot below.

85 responses to “Bucs will bid farewell to “iconic” Barber on Thursday

  1. a true pro! gotta give credit where it’s due, and this guy is a humble lead by example defender! now look to get him as a db coach! and maybe just maybe a possible return

  2. In that story they bring up a point you rarely hear about, in addition to having the 4th most non-offensive TDs in league history he is also by far the best tackling CB ever;

    “Barber also racked up 1,260 tackles in his career (12th all time) far more than the next best corner (Woodson) who ranks 37th with 937 tackles.”

  3. Hats off to a great career by Ronde and much respect for not letting Tiki’s problems before and after he retired get in the way of his
    Personal career, Warren Sapps number was retired this week and Rande should be next!…. The guy had 10+ years in the league and I never herd his name in a negative way through the media. I respect players like Ronde

    From a 49ers fan who will never forget 2002

  4. great player, great guy unlike his dickhead brother. borderline HOF. I think he shouldn’t be but wouldn’t care if he got in. it is def close. def not first ballot.

  5. Hall of Very Good.

    No offense Bucs fans. Ronde has always been “Tiki’s twin brother who also plays football.”

    Not his fault. Ronde was a baller. Just not Canton worthy.

  6. Total class act who went out on his own terms, and yeah, he’s without a doubt a future hall of fame member. Ronde Barber is responsible for the greatest moment in Bucs history (the pick six to secure Tampa’s place in the Super Bowl) and that highlight was the cherry on top of one of the best games ever played by a defensive player. Look at the stats and the impact; Ronde did it all and he did so with a quiet grace and carried himself with humility and pride. He’ll be missed, but he leaves the game healthy and with a championship win on his career resume, amongst other accolades.

    The Bucs deserve credit in their handling of Barber this offseason. The team allowed Ronde to take his time to consider all of his options, and now that Barber has made his decision, the team will celebrate his career and legacy. Between the good draft classes of the past few years, the signing and trading for marquee players in their prime, hiring a legitimate head coach and the handling of the Barber retirement, the Bucs are heading in the right direction, which is definitely exciting and well deserved for the fans who had to endure the release of Derrick Brooks and the Raheem Morris years (although there was that nice 10-6 season during the Raheem run, but the two seasons book ending that surprise record were really bad).

    You’ll be missed, Ronde Barber. Thanks for the memories.

  7. The man deserves the NFL hall of fame, and I’m a Saints fan. Much respect to Barber, a feared opponent for many years. Good luck Ronde´!

  8. I’m in the minority here, but I don’t think he is. Most of Ronde’s production came off the fact he was a Tampa 2 corner.

    Whenever he has played outside of the that scheme, or really played any man defense, he has struggled with it. If he didnt spend most of his career in the Tampa 2 scheme, he wouldn’t be nearly as highly regarded.

    I do think he will get in, but I wouldn’t vote for him. Good player, perfect scheme fit.

  9. From a falcon fan. He deserves to be in the hall of fame. With that said I’m glad to hear him retiring.

  10. #4 all-time non-offensive TD’s in a career (Deion, Hester, Rod Woodson)

    T-#1 for most INT TD’s in a game (2)

    Hard to sum his career up with any other stat that really sticks out, but he’s the only one of the Barber twins that deserves the HOF.

  11. Absolutely one of the best ever. He, John Lynch, and Derrick Brooks will all eventually be joining Warren Sapp in the HoF.

  12. I have loved Ronde since I was a kid. He was and will be my favorite player. Thank you for everything you did for the Bucs and the community. Its rare that you will find a player who will stay loyal to team as much as he did. I hope to see him in Canton soon, he deserves it.

  13. True class act, thank you ronde! Because of you my son now knows how to act like a professional athlete. Do your job, do it well, and don’t chirp or brag like today’s divas do and you earn respect. You shut down the vet with the biggest defensive play in Buc history, and I was there to see it and lived to talk about it. I appreciate the way you played the game, all the best in your future endeavours hall of famer!!!!

  14. If this guy get in before Tim Brown, Kevin Greene or Aeneas Williams the HOF is a joke! Barber wasnt even the best player in his own secondary it was Lynch and Lynch himself is not a HOFer.

  15. The “Iconic” Ronde Barber wants into the Hall Of Fame, he should be waiting in line behind Ray Guy and about 100 other players….

    Jim Plunkett, Jim Marshall, Charles Haley, Roger Craig, Karl Mechlenburg, Tim Brown, Steve Tasker, Steve Atwater (Greatest hit ever), Jerry Kramer, the list goes on….

    More players changed and impacted the game in a greater way then Ronde Barber.

  16. As a Saints fan I have the upmost respect for Barber and I would give him the nod as a HOF’er. The Bucs back in the day were a good bunch. Mike Alstott was my favorite, about as much as a favorite a player on a rival team can be anyways. Dude was beast mode before beast mode.

  17. For those doubting Ronde Barber’s HoF credentials that choose to label the man a ‘system corner’, let it be know that Barber played in a system that was widely copied by the majority of the NFL over the last 10+ years better than anybody. His numbers don’t lie and he has the ring and the longevity to merit a spot in the Hall.

    Maybe he won’t get in on the first ballot, although I think he deserves consideration, he will get in, likely on the second try and before John Lynch, another HoF worthy player that will one day he enshrined in Canton. Derrick Brooks will be there next season and I’m willing to bet that Simeon Rice gets voted in by the senior committee in the next 20 years. What a defense, truly one of the best units of all time. I’m glad I got to witness them in their prime.

  18. “If this guy get in before Tim Brown, Kevin Greene or Aeneas Williams the HOF is a joke! Barber wasnt even the best player in his own secondary it was Lynch and Lynch himself is not a HOFer.”

    Lynch will be in a few years. Your point (besides being a bitter, whiny Raider who likely still has splinters in his rear from that whipping ten years ago)?

    And for all of you fanboys rattling off the names of other players, you do know that many of those guys will be enshrined by the time they take care of Ronde, so your “point” holds little water.

  19. I don’t know much about Barber off of the field but the comments “I did it better than anyone” sound a little douchey to me.

  20. Jamael Orondé was everything Atiim Kiambu wasn’t.

    Tiki started out as a 3rd down RB with a fumble problem, then once Coughlin straightened that out, he thought he was above the coach and the team went through him, Strahan, and Shockey. He then figured he was the next Walter Cronkite and learned he wasn’t even a good FNIA analyst.

    Rondé just went out there and played consistent, high-level corner – and kept his mouth shut. He never made himself bigger than the team or the game, and that consistency should get him in Canton.

    For everyone who says Rondé is a “scheme player” or “system player”, who isn’t? Every great player benefited from a game plan designed to maximize their talent. Lawrence Taylor didn’t drop back in coverage on TEs or fullbacks in the flat – Parcells and Belichick designed a scheme to let LT be LT. Joe Montana is a household name because of Walsh’s West Coast offense – Joe never would have been more than average in a conventional scheme. And Rondé thrived in the Tampa-2… no different.

  21. I’ll leave the Hall vote to someone else. I’m not qualified to make that call, unlike all the “experts” on this board. As a Packer fan, I remember when Tampa was in the NFC Central and they were an easy win for a while. Barber helped change the culture down there from laughingstock to eventual champion. He wrapped up and finished tackles better than arguably any corner in NFL history, was never a distraction, and always showed up with a business like attitude. This system argument is getting so old, he did what the coaches told him to do without fail, and yet he gets criticized for it? Wow!

  22. I started watching football circa 1987. I’ve seen enough to know you’re a straight up hater if you don’t think Ronde had a HOF worthy career.

  23. One of the greatest zone corners.
    The surest tackling corner.
    No issues.
    Part of one of the best def. ever.

    They cant keep him out, but we are talking about the same group of people that refuse to let Guy in. Perhaps he wasn’t “Flashy” enough to get into the hall, only time will tell.

  24. Hall of Fame, Chalk it up. Cards fan here, but respect to an all-time Buc who helped turn a joke of a franchise into a champion.

  25. OK – so this isn’t going to be all that popular with many…but it’s my belief that the NFL HOF is inching to the Rock N Roll HOF. Just have an easily identifiable name and you’re in. Raiderinva has it exactly right (although some of his name could be up for friendly debate over a beer). It’s nothing in any way against Ronde Barber. He was very good…not HOF great though.

  26. To those who say he was a product of the system, wait….what? Is Tom Brady a product of his system? The guy is a baller. You can’t put a system on the field to make tackles, to have vision and anticipation, to study game film, to sack the QB, to have pick 6’s, etc – all consistently. That’s all Ronde. And you can’t (essentially) pick the system you want to play in. It took Steve Young how long to develop into a SB champion with those great 49er teams? Montana did it with ease consistently – and almost did it again with the Chiefs and different personnel.

    And if you think Ronde took advantage of the system he was in, great! That’s what makes men last 16 years when the average is what, 2-3?. Why doesn’t every corner have stats like him playin’ the Tampa 2??? All you gotta do is compare his stats and impact on the field. Deion made it (HOF) but he was scared to tackle. I dare to say they both were game changers and opposing teams had to game plan to take them into account. They just had their own style of play, but the results speak for themselves. Only the teams in the Bucs division can tell you how great he was. Watch as more and more of his contemporaries come out to talk about him. He’s 110% a HOFer.

    If you want to talk about borderline HOF material, then I would say Lynch. Alstott (mostly because he introduced the FB/HB hybrid and was so productive for his position and size) and Brooks are also HOFers in the waiting.

  27. Pure ignorance and/or biasedness if you don’t think Ronde Barber should be in the HOF. The guy put up 80 points (not including a special teams TD) as a defender! That beats out current HOF DB’s such as Deion Sanders (78), Darrel Green (48) and Dick “Night Train” Lane (50) and Paul Krause (36) (mind you Krause had 81 INT’s and didn’t contribute nearly the amount of points Barber did in his career! On top of all that, the guy put up 47 INT’s, 28 sacks (for a CB!) and 15 FF! To put the sacks and FF in perspective, James Harrison a pass rushing LB at age 34 has 64 sacks and 29 FF and that’s what the guy is supposed to do, Barber is a freakin CB and put up competitive sacks compared to Harrison. On top of all that the guy was on a super bowl winning team. You can even try to say he was a “system player” Well the “system” he was known for was with Tony Dungy, who stopped coaching the Buccaneers in 2001…I’m not a Buc’s fan at all, but respect needs to be givin when do, and this guy has earned it. First ballot HOF.

  28. How can you you not respect this guy? Im a Bronco fan but something about a player that played 16 years in the NFL and did it with class, deserves respect….16 years…like Elway…way to go Ronde…

  29. I see my fellow NFC south folks manning up for Barber we each had to see this guy 2 times a year. We know the kind of player he was. I hated when he played the Saints I am sure falcons & panthers fans feel the same.

    He was a class act and so what if he played the Tampa 2 he was the best defender in that system in the NFL. That defense is part of the league now so yes he has earned a spot as the best Tampa 2 DB that ever played.

    I won’t miss seeing you pick Brees off but as a fan of the game I am gonna miss the guy nothing but class.

  30. Gets into hall of fame, in several years.
    The fans and the haters can bank on that.

  31. Man, for all fellow commenters and fans of other teams showing class with their comments–thank you. Ronde Barber was a class act on and off the field for 16 years–played 216 games I believe straight–paid through the pain–was almost cut his rookie year–and yes, look at the stats as everyone pointed out?

    You people saying no are trolls and/or haters, nothing more, nothing less. I said it once today and I will say it again. He gets in. Probably not first ballot, sure, there are several guys ahead who do need to get in…any real football fan will understand that and knows this. I think it is a shame Ray Guy isn’t in and several people listed above. As far as schemes–such a silly argument. You realize, every coach on a coaching staff has a scheme or system they bring to their team–it either works or it doesn’t–and it working, depends on the players being good enough to make it work.

    As far as Lynch being the better secondary and he won’t get in the HOF–he might on namesake but I don’t think he should and I’m a huge Lynch fan. When you look at his stats–it is eh, so what kind of stats. Not bad but not great either. He was mainly known for his ferocity and fierce play and hard hits–ala Steve Atwater. Like I said, I’m a huge fan and have followed the Buccaneers since 1993. I also don’t think Alstott gets in, unless it is ala namesake–he was the original beastmode for sure and he was a great hybrid rb/fb but his fame is also the popularity, classy guy on and off the field and some amazing runs–but not HOF in my opinion. And Simeon Rice? Really? He had maybe three or four solid seasons total–with the biggest one being the Super Bowl season and didn’t do all that much during his time with AZ and not much since 2004-2005. He was an important part of that 2002 defense no doubt, but he shouldn’t be in the HOF. Not when a guy like Strahan definitely had better stats and career and deserves to get in–the Farve flop sack record or not.

    As far as remaining Buccaneers that get in the HOF and only ones for some time–it will be Brooks next and then Barber. I think Brooks is a first ballot and Ronde is borderline based on everything–tackles, points, tds, ff, int, sacks, longevity, pro-bowls and winning a championship–but I see him getting in somewhere in the 7-10 year range. Sorry folks, end of discussion there.

    And again, will miss #20 on Sundays–one of my truly favorite players to watch. I agree–hope he returns as a DB coach and preferably, with the Buccaneers at some point! Thanks Ronde for lots of great memories and games.

  32. Okay–I stand corrected on Rice–a little. He did have three solid seasons with AZ and five of his six years with Tampa were double-digits. some reason, I thought he only achieved that three times. With that many sacks–he most likely has to be considered in the discussion at some point but not a first ballot guy by any means. Heck, Barber’s stat line almost is better than Derrick Brooks as far as turnovers and sacks go. Crazy. And yes, Lynch and Alstott’s stats don’t quite measure up to HOF–Hall of Good sure.

    Final thought, to the person who said this is like the Rock and Roll HOF–maybe, but I think that is more the Pro Bowl anymore than anything. That has sadly become a joke and all about a popularity contest more than anything.

    It’s exciting to be a Buccaneers fan with positive improvements (I’m hopeful anyways) coming for the season and the future, as well as seeing three to five or six more Buccaneers finally being in Canton. I know Muniz is in there but heck he was enshrined if I recall correctly, as a Bengal and rightfully so–since that was where most of his HOF career was played. Sapp, Brooks, Barber and possibly Lynch would be true Buccaneers–and Rice almost would be since he didn’t do anything in Denver or Indy and had more seasons with TB then AZ.

    Proud to be a Buccaneers fan. Now going to win that second Lombardi in my lifetime would be pretty sweet. Maybe in the next five or ten years–once they get into the playoffs–anything can happen!

  33. Did someone say Mike Alstott should be in the HOF? Why not throw Brad Johnson in too why your at it, he did have one of the longest necks ever to play quarterback.

    Donovan Mcnabb thinks Ronde belongs in the Hall because only a superstar could have picked off that duck.

  34. For those questioning Ronde’s ability due to him playing in a Cover-2 scheme – perhaps you would do well to remember that man-2-man is also a ‘scheme’.

    Patriots fan here, with a huge amount of respect for a guy who just went about his job and let his play do the talking – being a sure tackler really should be an integral part of being a great DB.

  35. Ronde Barber was a rare example of someone who did it right all the time, both on and off the field. Congratulations on ending your long and storied career on your own terms.

  36. Ronde has the respect of his peers and coaches. Look at all of his NFC South rivals’ fans coming to support him. He will get into the hall of fame. Nobody even mentioned that he is the NFLs reigning iron man too.

  37. I hope he ends up in the HOF. He was never the greatest athlete or the biggest/ fastest guy, but he made play after play after play. That’s got to count for something.

    Watching Barber was a pleasure and you always knew he’d have a contribution to make at big moments in big games.

    Not the flashiest guy, not the most outspoken guy. Just a hard nosed baller.

  38. God that drove me nuts–I knew I was forgetting someone. Okay, Lee Roy Selmon–which how could I forget he was inducted into the HOF. A true Homer Simpson moment–DOH. So Sapp becomes the second true Buccaneer in the HOF, then Brooks and IMO, then Barber. After that, maybe Lynch, Rice and Alstott–but Lynch and Alstott would still not be there statistically; but more due to popularity/namesake, which shouldn’t happen in the HOF.

  39. “Lynch will be in a few years. Your point (besides being a bitter, whiny Raider who likely still has splinters in his rear from that whipping ten years ago)?

    And for all of you fanboys rattling off the names of other players, you do know that many of those guys will be enshrined by the time they take care of Ronde, so your “point” holds little water”

    Tim Brown a 1000+ catch player( 1 of 3). 19,682 combined net yards ranked #5 in NFl history and so forth. And Kevin Greene? 160 sacks ranked 3rd alltime! Just facts.

    All Barber has is longevity. Barbers good but he was never considered top 5 corners in the NFL once in his career. And no im not biased Steve Atwater one 1 of the greats and I aint afraid to say it. Just a lifelong NFL fan who tells it like I see it. 🙂

  40. Never watch the Bucs much, but hell of a career.

    Tough to stick 16 years in any business let alone pro ball.

  41. Yes, a player’s retirement is the season for overzealous fans and whimsical followers of the game to come out and thumb down comments.

    But I never thought this dude was better than Champ Bailey or Charles Woodson, Patrick Surtain or Chris McAllister.

    Yes, he lacked prototypical size and speed for the position, and the fact that he would’ve been a nickel corner in any other defense does give me pause to his HOF merit.

    At the very least, there are several other corners during Barber’s era that are more deserving than him, and when you consider there are DBs with 60+ career INTs that haven’t gotten into the Hall…..

    No, Ronde is not a HOFer.

  42. No way is he Hall of Fame. Any of these top receivers waiting to get into Canton would have torn this clown up one on one. He was an effective system player, but this “great” talk is just silly. The past four years he has been getting toasted regularly.

    Hall of the Very Good.

  43. Ronde should be a first round hof – everyone plays a version of the the Tampa 2 and no one is even close to his record setting sacks – TD returns and interceptions – every opposing team had to plan their offense game plan around – where’s Ronde – and if character is a part of the induction process then he is an automatic choice as Ronde’s picture must be one of the pictures next to it in every dictionary-so says King Edward

  44. Barber will get some HOF consideration, but I think he will come up short. For CBs, I think you need to be considered a man-to-man shutdown corner to get in to the HOF and that is not the game Barber was ever asked to play in those Tampa-2 defenses.

    From those great Bucs defenses, obviously Sapp is now in and I expect Brooks to get in on the first ballot next year (not that anyone cares, but I believe those two belong). I don’t see John Lynch or Ronde getting in, but you never know with the voters.

  45. His numbers are some of the very best for a DB.

    His longevity and consistency is among the best.

    He was part of an all time great defense that won a Super Bowl, and has been a class act throughout his career.

    I can’t see an argument that he’s not HOF material.

    You can argue first ballot IMO, but not getting in.

  46. ThanksBarber. You opened the door for London Fletcher to retire next year. Different story on London, he can still play!

  47. Thanks Barber. You retired like a man. Unlike Ray Lewis and his over the top antics for months that were degusting. Don’t fall down on your knees Barber and start crying. I just don’t see that happening.

  48. I’m sorry. No disrespect to Ronde. I just don’t think he’s a belongs in the HOF.

    You’ll say he was a 3x All-Pro. OK. I’ll grant you thank. But those teams included the likes of Deltha O’Neal, Nathan Vasher, Lito Sheppard, Chris McAlister, Charles Woodson, Aeneas Williams, & Champ Bailey. Other than Woodson & Champ, do any of those guys belong in the HOF? Not to mention the most recent of those was 7 years ago.

    He was a heck of a player for a very very long time. And by all accounts he is a class act off the field. But does being a good player for a long time warrant induction to the Hall of Fame? If so, put him in.

  49. Looks like Raider fan still has a little sand in his vag from the superbowl beat down.

  50. will he or should he is a different question. Definitely should, but harder to say if the voters in 5 years will find a way to not eff it up

  51. He is obviously a HOF’er. Not just the longevity, the class but the play was clearly worthy. The best cover 2 cb in a his generation.

  52. HOF for sure… Stats dont lie. Ronde was one of the best tacklers, certainly the best tackler of all time at CB. Total knack for the ball and the big play.

  53. Makes me mad, because the Hall of Fame questions wouldn’t arise if he played for the Cowboys, Giants or Patriots.

    It’s because he played for the Bucs is why he isn’t a slam-dunk first ballot Hall of Famer.

    God Bless Ronde – and thanks for helping bring the Bucs a Super Bowl Championship!

  54. Definitely in. Who cares if he played in the Tampa 2 ? Like he said no one played it better than him.

  55. 28 sacks and redefined the nickle corner. Enough said. When you redefine a position, you are a hall of famer.

  56. Too bad he’s calling it a career. I have to believe he can still play, but I don’t think he can accept being a backup. At least he can walk away on his own terms and with the team that he played his whole career, which is a rarity these days. Lots of respect to the good twin.

  57. 10 years in the nfl. 5 pro-bowls. 1 defensive player of the year. 2 sb rings. 2nd all time in playoff ints. 39 career ints. most ints in a season since 1952.
    are these the stats of a hall of fame cb?
    i would think so. IF not then rhonde should not get in either

  58. Ronde nice corner for many years no doubt about it.

    Take a look at this:

    How does a cornerback who played 15 years and have 75 career int’s not make it into the Hall of Fame? Not to mention he did it in the 70’s when they never threw the ball. Beers on me if you can find out the name of this man who has been criminally ignored by the likes of pompus jerkoffs like Peter King and Paul Zimmerman.

  59. Ken Riley indeed!

    I’m sorry it was 65 ints. But still, how is this guy not in the hall of fame? Peter King is the most responsible for this since he even covered the Bengals in the early to mid 80’s. Sorry, but I just can’t see how Ronde Barber gets in when guys like Riley are out there waiting patiently for years. Ken Riley was 10x the corner that Lynn Swann was a reciever.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!