Ronde Barber made his retirement official today at a press conference as he walked away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 16 seasons.
Barber started 215 consecutive games for the Bucs, the most by a defensive back in NFL history, and he’s the only player in the league to ever have more than 40 interceptions (47) and 20 sacks (28). His 28 sacks are the most by a cornerback in league history.
But Barber, 38, said “it was time” at his news conference, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
“It’s been a series of fortunate events for me,” Barber said. “I love Tampa. Tampa loves me. I couldn’t imagine going out any other way. I was never the biggest guy, I was never the fastest guy,” Barber said. “But I figured if I could be tough and preserve, I’d be all right – and that’s what got me through.”
Barber plans to go into broadcasting. His twin brother Tiki chose that path after retiring from the New York Giants but his career in front of the camera quickly crumbled.
The Bucs had hoped to retain Barber, perhaps as a nickel cornerback.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune