Ronde Barber hints he will not return if Raheem Morris is fired

If Raheem Morris goes, so might Ronde Barber.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback, who is at the end of his 15th season with the club, strongly hinted he will retire or walk away from the franchise if Morris is axed, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.

We’re not sure such a threat (or promise) would deter any ownership group from making a move with a head coach.

I would be lying if I didn't say that,'' Barber said when asked if his future is linked to that of Morris. "That's somewhat true. But we'll see. Ideally, I'd love to be back and play with (Morris), and (secondary coach) Jimmy (Lake) and (linebackers coach) Joe Baker. They're great coaches and they're fun to be around. They understand me and I understand them. So I imagine that will have something to do with it.''

The 36-year-old Barber will be a free agent as he signed a one-year deal to return. He’s played well and Morris has made it clear he wants Barber to come back. If Morris isn’t in place, who knows what happens.

"I feel like I can play another year,'' he said. "But let's see what January and February has to hold before I make any of those decisions. Next year will be next year. Who knows, I may be sitting on my couch or I may be out here backpedalling with these young cats again.''

Barber said he doesn’t intend to make a pitch to general manager Mark Dominik or the Glazer family, and that’s probably the smartest move. He’s spoken his mind and the decision is far out of his hands.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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