With Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ legend, Ronde Barber, being eligible for the Hall of Fame this year, there has been plenty of talk about what it will take to get him in – or even if he’s going to get in.

This week on NFL.com, according to Gil Brandt, Barber ranks right up there with current Hall of Famers, but not quite within them.

Barber, the only player in NFL history with 45 interceptions and 25 sacks, ranks No. 22 on that list.

All but one player in front of him – who is eligible – is in the Hall of Fame.

So what does that mean for Barber? Does that mean he’s next in line to get in, or does that mean he’ll forever be on the outside looking in? Barber is right next to those Hall of Fame names, but he’s not within them on that list.

On stats alone, Barber’s 16 years in Tampa Bay where he recorded 1,028 tackles, 166 pass deflections, had 47 interceptions, 28 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and scored 14 touchdowns are atop most Tampa Bay franchise record lists. But, the most important stat for cornerback is interceptions, and Barber’s 47 don’t stack up against Bobby Boyd’s 57, Deion Sander’s 53 or Champ Bailey’s 52 relative to the years they played.

Barber changed the importance of the slot cornerback position, and much of the game that we see today was accelerated to this point by the success of Barber – the unconventional, small, smart, instinctual corner in the Tampa 2 defense.

Stats are good, but being unique is better.

Barber has enough of both, if you ask me.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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Horse
Horse
5 years ago

I would hope that he is in the Hall of Fame because of him being not just a corner but also bringing about the Nickelback speciality.

tiapanda
tiapanda
5 years ago

“Stats are good, but being unique is better.
Barber has enough of both, if you ask me.”

Well put, Trevor.

Rut
Rut
5 years ago

If I were you, I’d look at Gil Brandt’s other “Best Of All Time” lists before putting too much stock into his opinion. They are hilariously terrible. He put Zeke Elliot on his RB list. Yep. After one year. But didn’t include guys like Priest Holmes, or Shaun Alexander. His WR list was terrible too he didn’t even have Steve Largent on there and ranked T.O. like 5th. Also didn’t include Steve Smith. The guys getting old and it’s kind of sad. When people pointed out these and many more problems with his lists in the comments, he fricking CHANGED… Read more »

Rut
Rut
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
5 years ago

Lol yeah not really sure why he’s still on payroll I think he’s just trying to get fired. Like sure Malcolm Butler is good but….all time? Reallly?

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Ronde made play after play. I often said, “It’s always Ronde” when he just seemed to have a knack. None finer than “The Pick.” Maybe not the loud mouth attention seeking type like Sanders and Sherman……………..just great.

wilkes
wilkes
5 years ago

The only thing Ronde did not do is put his hand in the dirt. Outside corner, slot corner, strong safety, free safety, line backer even edge rusher. People will point to the collection of talent around him, but he was the end result of dozens of big time plays.

He did it when they had talent, after the talent had left, through coaching changes and without missing games.

Just like Sapp, teams will perpetually be searching for the next Barber. HOF

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
5 years ago

When I remove my Bucs fandom from my opinion, Barber is easily among the toughest, most borderline HOF calls I’ve seen. Among CBs, he would have the 2nd fewest INT’s per season (ahead of only Darrell Green). He had the FEWEST INT’s per game started. He had a pretty shocking 12 of his 16 seasons with 3 or fewer interceptions which, again, are easily the most important counting stat for CBs. Yes, the sacks are nice, but there’s a reason that basically none of them accrue 25 in their careers – it just isn’t something they’re asked to do. He… Read more »

scubog
scubog
Reply to  toofamiliar17
5 years ago

Aren’t the number of years played at a high level also a plus factor to consider?

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

To an extent, sure. But I guess it comes down to this – I think Ronde was GREAT for maybe a few seasons, and then “good” for like 10 years or something like that. In other words, he was mostly a good player, he just did it for a REALLY long time, and an even longer time when you consider that he never missed a game. It’s certainly an impressive feat to play as well as he did for as long as he played (although, it has to be said that he was a below average player for the last… Read more »

Rut
Rut
Reply to  toofamiliar17
5 years ago

One of the tough things for elite cornerbacks, especially in the more recent years of the nfl, is if you prove yourself, QBs stop throwing your way. It’s mind boggling when you see that Revis only has like 30 career picks but you have to remember that there are games he’s played when he was lined up with a #1 or #2 receiver that would get zero TARGETS. It’s just a testament to their greatness, but the suffer big numbers because of it. In previous eras the thinking was just force it to your guy, and it was just kind… Read more »

toofamiliar17
toofamiliar17
Reply to  Rut
5 years ago

Your point is an interesting one, and there’s certainly SOME truth to it. It doesn’t pertain to Ronde, IMO, since he was rarely ever matched up on any receiver one on one, much less for an entire game, for QBs to go out of their way to avoid him. In addition to that, there are current examples that appear to hurt the whole idea that INT numbers for great corners are depressed because opposing QBs just avoid them as a rule. Richard Sherman has basically 2/3 as many INTs as Ronde got, and he’s done it in essentially 1/3 of… Read more »

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
5 years ago

R Barber should be in HOF!
He was at his best when the game was on the line! I will NEVER forget the play-off game in Philadelphia he was playing with a bad leg and made the INT that sealed the game.