December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ronde Barber (20) walks off the field after they lost to the St. Louis Rams at Raymond James Stadium. St. Louis Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ronde Barber Set to Retire After Sixteen Seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ronde Barber (20) walks off the field after the game against the St. Louis Rams at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the addition of Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, and Johnthan Banks this moment seemed to be inevitable. Today, Buccaneer legend, Ronde Barber has announced his retirement. FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer broke the news…

Ronde began his career in the NFL when he was selected 66th overall in the 3rd round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent his entire career in Tampa and vaulted to super stardom here when he picked off Donovan McNabb in the 2002 NFC Championship game.

Barber played in 241 games as a Buccaneer and didn’t miss a single game in 15 years. Ronde racked up 47 interceptions and recorded an incredible 28 sacks as a DB making him the only player in NFL history to be a part of the 40/20 club. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and was named to the NFL’s All Decade team of the 2000’s.

Ronde is a first ballot Hall of Famer without question and might just be the best Buccaneer of All Time (The Pewter Plank’s Bracket will answer that question soon).

But enough with the past, let’s look to what this means to the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There really wasn’t a spot for Ronde in the starting lineup and he would have had to have fought for plays in nickel and dime situations.

Barber has always been a lead by example type player. He’s never been a vocal leader on or off the field, but that doesn’t mean his presence didn’t resonate with others on the team. His professionalism, work ethic, and experience will certainly be missed in every day business around One Buc, but what he would have been able to contribute at age 38 just wouldn’t have been significant.

All in all, it’s always tough to see a franchise legend exit stage left, but the writing was on the walls. The time has come. He had to hang it up. I’m very pleased that the Buccaneers let him do it his way, on his own terms. Ronde will be missed, but rest assured Bucs fans, the secondary will be fine without him.

 

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