The Ronde Barber ConundrumFebruary 17th, 2012
Joe has made his feelings known about Bucs legend Ronde Barber. He’s the best cornerback in Bucs history and may have made the greatest play in Bucs history, returning a Donovan McNabb pass for a pick-6, sending the Bucs to their first (and to date, only) Super Bowl.
Joe has stated several times that Barber should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Whether he gets that honor at some time in the future, well, that’s a different story.
Barber has 14 seasons under his belt, all with the Bucs. Whether he sees a 15th is up for debate. There are several factors that will sway Barber’s (and the Bucs’) decision.
One of those elements is, as Stephen Holder points out in the Tampa Bay Times, is simply if the Bucs actually want him back?
The Bucs probably don’t have a clear-cut answer on this question right now. Coach Greg Schiano is still getting up to speed on his players and hasn’t even hired a defensive coordinator.
Decisions on personnel will, for the most part, have to wait. And in this case, a decision on Barber is not yet a pressing matter, so time is not an issue.
How will Schiano and his staff view Barber? That can’t be answered until they evaluate his film. But in light of the many question marks in the secondary – for example Aqib Talib’s legal problems and free agent Sean Jones’ likely departure – a little continuity probably won’t be seen as a bad thing.
It’s a valid point. No one knows if new Bucs coach Greg Schiano actually wants him back. And would Barber want to go through all of the hassle of learning a new defense, all for just one year?
Joe has no inside information on this and it’s only a hunch. But it’s very likely we have seen the last of Barber wearing the pewter and red.