THREE-TIME All-Pro Ronde Barber is retiring after a 16-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that included a Super Bowl title and five Pro Bowl appearances.
The Bucs announced last night that the 38-year-old twin brother of retired New York Giants running back Tiki Barber will not return to play on a defense overhauled since the end of last season. Tampa Bay acquired Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson and second-round draft pick Johnthan Banks for its secondary.
The retirement was first reported by Fox Sports.com, which quoted Barber as saying: "I've had a better run than I ever could've dreamed of having."
Tiki Barber, who retired from the Giants after the 2006 season, had a post on his Twitter account that read: "Congrats & happy for my twin, Ronde, who's hanging up the cleats!"
Ronde Barber played cornerback for 15 seasons before moving to safety last year. He played his entire career with the Bucs and is the franchise leader in interceptions with 47. He also scored eight touchdowns and had 28 sacks in 241 games.
"Ronde is synonymous with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, establishing himself as one of our franchise's iconic players over a 16-year, Hall of Fame-worthy career," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement. "When anyone thinks of Ronde, they think of a true professional and leader. He approached every day the same, giving everything he had to make himself and his teammates the best they could be. We will miss him."
Barber was a third-round pick out of Virginia in 1997 and struggled early in his career, appearing in just one game as a rookie. He finished with a stretch of 215 consecutive starts, tied for the sixth-longest streak in NFL history.
A team captain for the past 9 years, Barber made the transition from cornerback to safety in 2012, Tampa Bay's first season under coach Greg Schiano.
Schiano's top priority this offseason was revamping a secondary that nearly set a league record for most yards passing allowed in a season.
Barber is the only player in NFL history with 40-plus interceptions and 25 or more sacks. He returned eight picks for regular-season touchdowns and clinched Tampa Bay's victory over the Eagles in the 2002 NFC Championship Game with a 92-yard return for a touchdown against Donovan McNabb.
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