Legendary cornerback Ronde Barber announced today he would return to the Buccaneers for at least one more season, his 16th in the NFL.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have agreed to terms with CB Ronde Barber on a one-year contract. Barber had been contemplating retirement again this offseason, but like last season decided to come back in 2012, his 16th in the league. With the uncertainty of Aqib Talib’s status, the return of Barber gives new head coach Greg Schiano another option at a position that performed poorly in 2011.
"I'm pleased to announce that I'll be back for my 16th season as a Buccaneer," said Barber. "Coach Schiano, Mark Dominik, and the Glazer family have been terrific throughout this process. I'm really excited about the direction of the team, the moves we've made, and I can't wait to get back to work."
This past season Barber started in all 16 games for Tampa Bay and finished with the fourth-most tackles on the team (77). He also recorded five tackles for loss, three interceptions, 11 passes defensed, one sack, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble, as he was one of only two players on the Buccaneers to record a statistic in each of the respective categories. In Week 3, Barber was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for the ninth time in his career, including the postseason.
Barber has spent his entire 15-year career with the Buccaneers, and currently holds the longest active streak for starts in the NFL with 199, starting every game for the Buccaneers since Week 10 of the 1999 season. His consecutive starts streak is also the longest by a cornerback in NFL history, while his 224 consecutive games played is tied for the second-longest streak by a defensive player in the NFL since 1970. Barber has 43 career interceptions and 27 career sacks, making him the only player in NFL history to have 40 or more interceptions and 25 or more sacks in a career.
His 1,337 tackles rank second in team history behind only LB Derrick Brooks and his 11 touchdowns on fumble/interception returns ranks fifth in NFL history. The five-time Pro Bowler is also the only defensive back in the NFL since the merger (1970) to start each of his team's games for 12 consecutive seasons.
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