Barber says he might have returned, if starting


Given his history with the organization, it’s more than reasonable to believe the Buccaneers would have continued to give Ronde Barber a job.

But without a clearly defined or significant role, it was easier for Barber to decide to retire yesterday.

Barber admitted as much to Mike Garafolo of USA Today, saying the Buccaneers’ offseason additions left little for him to contribute to the process.

“Now don’t get me wrong, if [GM] Mark [Dominik] and [coach] Greg [Schiano] would’ve said, ‘Hey, we absolutely need you to play, you played great last year, here’s X amount of dollars, come play, we need you…’ That wasn’t necessarily the case,” Barber said. “They’re reshaping that football team. You’re spending a quarter of a billion in free agents in two years, they’re definitely going in a new direction.

“But that wasn’t a factor. I’ve had that conversation with Mark the past couple of years about them needing to sign guys for the future and put players on this team again. Let’s be honest, we have a hard time drawing [fans] in this town, so those additions for us are almost essential.”

Over the last two offseasons, the Bucs made aggressive moves to replace Barber in the secondary, signing free agent cornerback Eric Wright and drafting safety Mark Barron last year, then signing safety Dashon Goldson, trading for cornerback Darrelle Revis and drafting Johnthan Banks this year.

That would have left him with a small role as a backup, and that was going to be hard to accept. Barber said if he had a starting job, he might have returned.

“Possibly. That would’ve made it a little bit harder of a decision, obviously,” Barber said. “But that wasn’t the case. They wanted me to play, I don’t doubt that at all. I had open lines of communication with Mark the past couple of years about continuing to play.

“At the end, it was me deciding I didn’t need football as much as I once did and it was time to venture into a new thing.”

That new thing will be on television, though he didn’t say where he planned to work or what he planned to do for them.

But in the end, a career that included 240 straight regular season games, 47 interceptions, 14 touchdowns on returns, over 1,000 tackles and a Super Bowl ring makes it easier to step into the next phase of his career.

14 responses to “Barber says he might have returned, if starting

  1. In a world with loud mouths like Richard Sherman, Ronde was always the class of the NFL. The dude was great for 16 years…not just a 1 year wonder. I will always miss #20.

  2. As much as I will miss seeing #20 on the field this season, I think Ronde made the right decision. I feel much better about our pass defense with all the new additions we’ve brought in, and Ronde can walk away healthy, and with his head held high! He has a Superbowl ring, several Pro-bowl appearnces, All Pro’s, and tons of records…including more tackles than any other CB in history and 215 straight games for a guy that is barely 5 foot 10 inches tall and 185 pounds soaking wet! Thanks for an outstanding career, Ronde…see you in Canton!

  3. Love the honesty and how candid he is with this interview. Even he acknowledges that the team needed to add playmakers and try to bring back a competitive team, thus bring back the fans.

    His career was great–never having a stand-out season all to himself may hurt his HOF chances some–but in the end, 7 to 10 years from now, I think he makes it in. The stats speak for themselves. He was the first corner in the 20-20 club and only added to that, 14 nonoffensive touchdowns, had more sacks and takeaways than Brooks, and almost as many tackles, a professional on and off the field, made game changing plays in many games, none moreso than the 2002 NFC Championship Game, and so on, so on. He definitely is a HOFer–just probably not a first ballot guy.

    I know one thing, I will miss seeing #20 take the field on Sundays. Hopeful that the new Buccaneers can become something great and maybe even win a second Lombardi during my lifetime.

  4. Retire #99, #63,#20,#55 thats our mount rushmore of Tampa Bay alstott and lynch were great just behind sapp brooks and barber selmon was awesome as well. lynch played good didnt redifen the safety position alstott a beast but so was larry z and riggins

  5. Don’t forget that he had nearly 30 (28) career sacks as a defensive back. I do not know of the record for sacks by a defensive back, but he ranks up there (former Cardinals and current Patriot Safety Adrian Wilson has 25.5) with the most by a DB in NFL history. 28 Sacks to go along with 47 int’s are Hall of Fame stats. He was a Pro Bowl alternate last year, too. Classy guy, too.

  6. The best thing for Ronde Barber was that he didn’t have to play the Redskins twice every year. That’s why his brother retired so many years ago. No one lasts long with the Redskins on their schedule every year.

  7. Glad to hear he’s going into tv. I would love it if he came to NFLN and replaced his former teammate Sapp, or Dukes or Sanders. I can’t stand those three. Why do tv people think the audience wants people who shriek loudly (and often unintelligably) at us and each other instead of actual rational knowledgeable people like Charles Davis, Mayock, etc.? Ronde would add to the latter.

  8. Ronde will def be a HOFer, in time. Maybe not a first ballot guy(tho he should be imo) but he defined the role of CB in regards to stability, reliability, productivity and versatility.

    It’s a shame his bro screwed the pooch b/c a couple more years would’ve seen Tiki with a ring and enough stats to justify a possible spot in the Hall.

    But Ronde did what only Darrell Green did better: played starting CB in the NFL for well over a decade and a half.

    Good luck, old soldier.

  9. gotampabay52 says:
    May 9, 2013 10:35 AM
    Retire #99, #63,#20,#55 thats our mount rushmore of Tampa Bay alstott and lynch were great just behind sapp brooks and barber selmon was awesome as well. lynch played good didnt redifen the safety position alstott a beast but so was larry z and riggins

    Larry Z (Csonka?) and Riggins did not have to split carries with Warrick Dunn. Then a few years later have Gruden turn them into a blocking back (when he is a natural RB/halfback). Outside of Derrick Brooks, Alstott is probably the most beloved Buc.

    Congrats to Ronde for an impressive HOF career.

  10. One beloved and stats two differrnt things Lynch Alstott not HOF so to my point

    Sapp Brooks Barber Selmon best four all time for Tampa numbers don’t lie

  11. Ronde Barber is a genuine class act! Congrats on a great career! To leave the game after 16 years with five ProBowl visits, a Super Bowl ring and no major injuries puts him in a class of his own . I am looking forward to following him in what ever new venture he decides to persue. Good luck Ronde ,I always enjoyed watching your games!

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