After 16 seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive back Ronde Barber is retiring. The Super Bowl XXXVII champion and Buccaneers all-time interceptions leader talked with The Morning Show about his decision to leave the game and put an end to a future Hall of Fame career.
“I feel good about it,” Barber said. “I’m ready for it. It’s been a long time coming. I had a heck of a run. Six years past you (Tiki Barber) was about as good as I could have expected. I put a lot into what I did. Coming to an end here is going to be well rewarded. This is absolutely what I want to do. I don’t need to put on pads anymore. The game has moved on from me. I’m more than willing and accepting to move on from it. It’s time to retire.”
Barber finishes his career after being named to five Pro Bowls, three First-Team All Pros and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. He also set the NFL record for consecutive games started by a cornerback and for recording the most sacks by a cornerback.
“Being 38 years old and realizing you’re in a locker room with guys closer in age to my oldest daughter than me, that takes a toll mentally,” Barber said. “I had a lot fun preparing and playing last year, so I knew that I could have done it if I wished to. All the factors involved with me coming back, the equation just didn’t equal to me playing again.”
Barber said there wasn’t any truth to the idea that he was being phased out of the Buccaneers’ plans with trading for Darrelle Revis, signing Dashon Goldson and restructuring Eric Wright’s contract and that the Buccaneers wanted him back if he wanted to return.
“Us signing him (Darrelle Revis) didn’t affect the decision at all,” Barber said. “Obviously would it have been cool to play with the guy? Absolutely. He is the premier talent at the position right now. He was a steal for us prior to the draft. Obviously he is going to add a ton to our secondary and I know there’s peoples talking about ‘Did i get pushed out?’ The answer, frankly, is no. This was solely my decision. If I was going to play, I was going to be on the football team. I wasn’t going to have to worry about getting cut.”