While it was assumed by most, general manager Mark Dominik today confirmed to PewterReport.com that he and Greg Schiano have met with and told veteran cornerback Ronde Barber that they want him back for a 16th season.
Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik told PewterReport.com today that he and new head coach Greg Schiano have had “several” talks with free agent cornerback Ronde Barber, and said they both made it clear to Barber they want him back for a 16th season.
The 15-year veteran started all 16 games for the Buccaneers in 2011 and led the team with three interceptions while adding 79 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
As free agency approaches next Tuesday, and with the NFL Draft upcoming in late April, the Buccaneers are trying to formulate a game plan in regards to several positions, particularly cornerback. With Aqib Talib’s status up in the air as he awaits trial later this month in Texas for a felony aggravated battery charge, getting a decision on Barber may determine their strategy concerning free agency, but even more so in regards to the draft.
Reserve cornerback Elbert Mack is also an unrestricted free agent, and may be on his way to Washington to reunite with new Redskins’ secondary coach Raheem Morris. The only other rostered cornerbacks (besides the questionable Talib) are Myron Lewis, Anthony Gaitor and E. J. Biggers.
Tampa Bay appears willing to wait and give Barber all time he needs, but at least it is now clear the Buccaneers themselves want the remaining link to the 2002 Super Bowl squad back for at least one more year.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.