Ronde Barber, 35, was a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of Virginia in 1997 and is currently the longest tender Buccaneer, and only remaining player from the 2002 team that hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Barber who’s entering his 14th season and is in the final year of his contract with the Bucs, hinted at a possible retirement after the teams second straight day of practice. Barber, the franchise leader in interceptions with 37, is the only cornerback in the history of the NFL to have amassed at least 25 sacks and 35 interceptions told reporters he wanted the ability to walk away on his on terms.
“Very few guys get to go into Mark Dominik’s office or Raheem Morris’ office and say, “Hey buddy, I’m done. I’ve had enough,” Barber said Tuesday. ”Most guys get it the other way. They don’t think you can play anymore. But that’s what it would be for me, to look those guys in the eyes, and call the Glazers and say, “Thanks for the opportunity, it’s been fun.” I don’t know when that is. Maybe it will be at the end of this year.”
While Barber gave no specfic timetable for his departure from the league. At the ripe old age of 35. One has to wonder if indeed this will be his last year, not only as a Buccaneer, but also as an NFL player.
Should Barber call it a career at seasons end, he will have left an unquestionable mark on the franchise. He currently ranks in the top ten of several franchise records; second with 184 career starts, first in interceptions with 37, tied for eighth with 25 career sacks, and second in tackles with 1,141.