Bucs CB Ronde Barber has given some thought to his post NFL career, and is considering working in the Bucs front office. He also thinks of working in the media and mentions writing for PewterReport.com in the future.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber is focused on his 15th NFL season next fall, but at the same time, the veteran Barber has given some thought to his post NFL career. Right now the NFL lockout has allowed Barber to see a spring without OTA (organized team activities) practices and mini-camps. In that time Barber has been able to spend more time with his two daughters and his wife.
Beyond another season staring as the Bucs' right corner and slot cornerback, Barber isn’t making any future plans for retirement.
“I’m going to play a little golf, hang out with my girls. I don’t know. I have found it hard to commit to doing anything,” said Barber. “This is not an anti-Tiki [Barber] thing, but I’ve seen guys that had plans down the road, well-laid plans, and it takes away from what you’re doing right now. I don’t want to be that guy. Are there opportunities? Yeah. This week I’m going to go on NFL Network and contributing for two days. I did ESPN a couple of months ago. I think I’m educated enough to contribute to PewterReport.com. I don’t know, I can’t commit to anything. When I’m done and I know I’m not going to be playing football anymore my ideal life afterwards might completely change.
“If you made me say something right now, I would think I’d take a run at something media related, but everybody wants to do that. It is a saturated market. It is kind of a bad market if you ask me. There are so many [ex-players in the media] and so many are not good at what they do. It's not bad TV, it's entertaining, but it’s … whatever.”
If Barber goes into the media market he doesn’t want to be one of the ex-players who makes outrageous statements just to stand out among all the former players that have turned commentators.
“You see it the exact same way as I see it and I don’t know if I want to be part of that,” said Barber. “Maybe I will [go into the media].”
The 36-year old Barber signed a one-year contract with Tampa Bay for the 2011 season before the NFL lockout started in March. In 2010, Barber was third on the team in tackles with 102. He also had nine tackles for a loss, one sack, seven quarterback pressures, 16 passes broken up, three interceptions and one forced fumble.
Another route that Barber is considering is following former teammate Shelton Quarles into the Buccaneers scouting staff. Quarles was hired as a pro scout after finishing his career after the 2006 season. After serving as a scout for a few years, Quarles was promoted to the coordinator of pro scouting role by general manager Mark Dominik. Barber has always had a close relationship with Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris, so there is already a strong, respectful working relationship to bring into the Bucs front office.
“That’s a possibility. I’ve said to myself many times that maybe I will stay in football,” said Barber. “I don’t want to work under Rah and I don’t want to be a coach. Those hours are ridiculous.”
Unlike the vast majority of players, Barber has always taken an interest in watching tape of draft prospects. Some future teammates that Barber has scouted with Morris include cornerback Aqib Talib, quarterback Josh Freeman and wide receiver Mike Williams. Not only did Barber watch those players with Morris, Barber lobbied for the team to take all of them.
“That’s a lot of work too in itself. What [Quarles] does now and what he’s had to do to get to where he is, he’s put in a lot of hours – a lot of sacrifices. He played 10 years in the league and he’s still grinding,” said Barber. “It’s not that I want to retire and do nothing. I can’t imagine actually playing golf every day. I might kill myself. I also don’t want to commit myself to do something right after playing football that is just like playing football. We’ll see. I honestly can’t give you an answer. Tiki [Barber] had well-laid plans to a 'T' and they didn’t work out.”
Until Ronde Barber is faced with retirement he is focused on producing on the football field, and that also could extend beyond 2011. Barber hasn’t declared the 2011 season to his last in the NFL. Perhaps Barber will be the Buccaneers' version of Darrell Green, the cornerback who played for the Washington Redskins into his early 40's.
“[Laughing] You know [my play] will speak for itself,” said Barber. “I’ve said this for the last five years. You all won’t see it at the same time I will see it. I’ll be on the field and be like, ‘That dude can’t play any more.’ You won’t have to write that that dude can’t play anymore. I’ll see it way before you guys do.”
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