Ronde Barber, the longtime defensive back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has decided to begin his life away from football. The 38-year-old officially announced his retirement according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer on Wednesday.
Although in his rookie season, Barber played in just one game, the 5-time Pro Bowler would go on to play in every game for the duration of his 16-year season. Barber’s career numbers during this time include 28 sacks, 47 interceptions, and 8 touchdowns. Barber and the Bucs also hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Though it is tough to see a player of Barber’s caliber hang up his cleats, recent events may have foreshadowed his time coming to an end; more specifically the acquisitions of ex-Jet Darrelle Revis and former All-Pro Dashon Goldson this off-season. Despite being the only player to record over 40 interceptions and 20 sacks, Barber found himself out of a job.
For Tampa Bay, it might be welcoming news that Barber made this decision on his own. In previous seasons the team has struggled to navigate the waters of keeping or releasing their iconic players.
Fans of the Florida franchise will recall the mishaps that led to the departure of star veteran Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, and recent Hall-of-Fame inductee Warren Sapp. In the case of Lynch and Sapp, these veterans were not fortunate enough to retire for the team they played their hearts out for every week.
Throughout the entire process, the franchise re-assuring Barber he had a home. Instead, the veteran defender chose to call it a career. The Buccaneers were fortunate to have a high-quality player like Barber for the duration of his career, and management has done a stand-up job allowing the player to make his decision.
In the end, Barber can walk out with his head held high knowing that he will walk away as one of the greatest Buccaneer players to ever put on the pads on Sunday.
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