It’s Official! Rondé Barber Is A Hall Of Famer!

February 9th, 2023

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He’s in, and he may have shut the door behind him for a while.

Rondé Barber, one of the most versatile defensive backs the NFL has ever seen, will soon sit down with a sculptor for his bust in Canton. The third time was indeed the charm, but there were anxious moments during that 7-hour, 30-minute zoom call as I joined 48 other voters to select the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

By now, you should be aware Barber was awarded a gold jacket in his third year as a finalist. It shouldn’t have taken that long because he was a historic player in terms of production and durability. He also happened to invent a position.

Hall of Famer!!

Barber wasn’t the first nickel back in NFL history, but he remains the prototype. He set the bar for the hundreds of slot corners who tried and failed to play up to his unprecedented standard.

But there was trouble elsewhere on the ballot.

A maximum of five modern-era candidates can be elected in any class and Darrelle Revis was on the list of finalists in his first year of eligibility. Revis was a true shut-down corner, probably the best since Deion Sanders. His coverage skills were the real deal. He took on the opposition’s best receiver and made him disappear.

Even Tom Brady in his prime thought twice about challenging Revis.

That was Revis’ job — and he was great at it. Nobody complained that he offered little in run support and was no factor as a blitzer.

Revis was a shut-down corner. Barber was a complete corner. Both needed to get in.

But there was another compelling corner on the ballot. His name is Albert Lewis and he played for the Chiefs and Raiders between 1983 and 1998.

Lewis had some powerful advocates among the voters and this was his last year as a modern-day candidate. If he didn’t make it to Canton, he’d tumble into the senior pool — filled with worthy players who slipped through the cracks.

There was a lot of sentiment building for Lewis and if he and Revis earned passes to Canton, it was unlikely that voters would ultimately select three cornerbacks. The odd man out could be Barber.

That’s didn’t happen because Barber’s accomplishments simply demanded to be acknowledged.

He’s still the only player with at least 45 Interceptions and 25 sacks. His 14 non-offensive TDs are fourth all-time and that doesn’t count the pick-6 that shut down the Vet and lifted the 2002 Bucs into the Super Bowl. Fourteen TDs from a cornerback? Champ Bailey, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, finished with four.

Barber could cover, blitz and tackle, all at a Hall of Fame level. Let’s start with coverage.

Barber ranks third all-time with 197 passes defended. In 2001, Barber tied for the league lead with 10 interceptions. It took 20 seasons and Trevon Diggs for anyone to top that total.

Barber ranks No. 10 all-time in career tackles, first among defensive backs. His 88 tackles for loss are once again, first among defensive backs. Revis had 9.

Finally, we come to durability and Barber is historic there, too. In his final 15 seasons, he never missed a game and rarely missed a tackle, posting 215 consecutive starts.

“Ronde’s consecutive start streak will never be broken by another defensive back,” says Mike Tomlin. “It’s like Cal Ripken.”

Barber was a key component on the best defense of its era, an outside corner who moved inside on third down and controlled the middle of the field. Why did the Bucs move him to nickel on the money down? Not to hide him … to accentuate him.

“That team was built around Sapp, Brooks, Barber and Lynch,” says Brett Favre. “What a damned defense. I hated playing against those guys and Ronde was a big reason why. He’s the best nickel that’s ever played.”

Barber’s only contemporary in terms of versatility, Charles Woodson, sailed into Canton in his first year of eligibility. Barber had been waiting since 2018.

“When you look at our numbers across the board, there’s a lot of similarities there,” says Woodson. “That’s a testament to our versatility, football IQ and toughness. When you’re a rarity at that level for that long a time, you have to be in Canton.”

Buc fans will be heading up to Ohio this summer to honor No. 20. It promises to be quite a reunion and Barber has already selected his brother, Tiki, to be his presenter.

Next up? Longshot, says Ira.

Brooks is pushing for Simeon Rice to make it five Hall of Famers off that marauding defense. With 122 sacks, Rice stands No. 21 on the all-time list and he was very good in the postseason, but Rice has a tough road ahead of him.

Jared Allen (136 sacks) is still waiting his turn and Dwight Freeney (125.5) became a finalist this year. The top first-year eligible for the class of 2024 is Julius Peppers and J.J. Watt will be along in five years.

Rice’s last season was 2007 and his case has never been discussed. He’s been named a semifinalist only once and he faces a lot of competition as a stellar edge rusher. Perhaps Ndamukong Suh will get a look five years after his retirement. Mike Evans and Lavonte David are building strong Canton resumes.

That’s way down the line. Rondé Barber is here and now.

Enjoy the moment.

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

65 Responses to “It’s Official! Rondé Barber Is A Hall Of Famer!”

  1. Colin in Canada Says:

    Well done Sage

  2. SKBucsFan Says:

    Well deserved. This (and the memorium) was the best part of the NFL awards show.

  3. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Congratulations Rondè and Sage!!

  4. Aceofaerospace Says:

    Best news of this season!

  5. Buc50 Says:

    It’s about freaking time!!!

  6. Kaptain Morgan Says:

    Congratulations Ronde!
    Well done too, Ira!

  7. Pryda sec 147 Says:

    Congratulations Rondé congrats to you Ira for all your hard work! 🍻

  8. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Rinse’s credentials are insane!!!
    DEFINITELY deserved the HOF!

    Glad everyone finally woke up and voted appropriately..

  9. Bucfan1988 Says:

    OMG, RONDE’S credentials, lol!
    Gotta love the spell-check 🤦🏻‍♂️

  10. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Well done Ira. You da’ man.

  11. Crickett Baker Says:

    Yay!! I am soo happy! Thank you, Ira, for ALL you did to help Ronde get it this year. Well done! 😀

  12. Buc4evr Says:

    Finally! Congrats Ronde and Ira!

  13. Patrickbucs Says:


  14. rrsrq Says:

    Let’s Go Ronde, and congrats to Florida A & M University legend and former Lakeland Fl resident Ken Riley, RIP coach

  15. The Anomaly Says:


    Well deserved…earned…epic!

  16. Bucc941 Says:


  17. BucsFan81 Says:

    Finally my favorite player of all time. So glad to see him get in. I knew it would happen one day. Going to rep my barber jersey in Canton once I go.

  18. Frank Pillow Says:

    Congrats Ira! 20 is the ultimate Buccaneer. Watching him
    develop and define a position was thrilling. So many big plays in big moments. So tough too. Kudos to his partner, Brian Kelly and the standard set by Donnie Abraham and Hardy Nickerson…all deserving of mention and part of Ronde’s story here! What a player. What a defense. What an era!

  19. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Congratulations Ronde!
    You deserve it.

  20. Max Says:

    ronde barber 10, 5… TOUCHDOWN TAMPA BAY!!!

  21. Bucswin Says:

    Winning! Congrats Ronde and BUCS Nation!!!

  22. Winky Says:

    Heck yeah!!

    That is awesome. Ronde is the man.

    GO BUCS!!!

  23. Dwight Schrute Says:

    FACT: Ronder Barber is now a hall of famer!!

  24. Dwight Schrute Says:

    Some nice feel-good news as the Bucs enter the abyss of Todd Bwles (year 2)

    Glazers amaze me: Sometimes the best owners. Other times (like now) the worst. It was negligent at best to accept BA’s endorsement of Bowles.

  25. FortMyersDave Says:

    Well done Ira! Mission accomplished! Congrats to Ronde, I wonder who will present him at Canton: Tiki? Ronde is one of the greatest Bucs ever but without the Sage going to bat for him I am afraid he would still be waiting. So by my count the Sage has no got 4 Bucs gold jackets: Brooks, Sapp, Lynch and now Barber. Lee Roy Selmon got the nod via the late great Tom McEwan.

    The Sage and Tom McEwan, that is a Hall of Fame by itself of great journalists who have represented Tampa! I do not know who would be the third member: the late Hubert Mizell, Chris Thomas, Steve Duemig, the Joes? Anyhow, awesome news for Ronde and the Sage. Go Bucs!

  26. Goatfarmer Says:

    Good job Ira! Way to go, Sage!

    You Da Man.

    Ronde deserved to be in first ballot, but too many people pretended the “system CB” excuse was a real thing. Way to take that apart and diffuse the manure, Sage. Awesome, awesome job.

    Kudos also to the Joes and JBF for keeping us fans hyped and pumped for Ronde’s induction.

    Finally some good Buccaneers news.

  27. OHBucFan🎁 Says:

    Awesome news. I’ll be in Canton for sure to watch the last member of that incredible defense get in.

  28. Patrick Says:

    Congrats Ronde!

    I also think Simeon Rice should be in the HOF. Another key piece to that defense for several years.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:


  30. Anonymous Says:


    +What a Shinning Star that You Are+

    Congratulations my man. The Best to EVER Do It, Mr. RHONDE BARBER #20!

  31. Joe Says:


    #RHONDE 🙁

  32. Elita Vita Says:

    Puts a smile on my face! A great player and greater human being! Thank you for bringing us Bucs pride tonight!

  33. David Says:

    Thank you for the tireless work IRA!

    Congrats Ronde!

    Simeon next?

  34. BrianBucs Says:

    Ronde deserved it. PERIOD.

  35. unbelievable Says:

    About! Time!

    Good job Irv.

  36. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Honestly, Barber is the most deserving of the big 5 on that defense. Well done Ira.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    That’s awesome! Glad he’s finally in, he absolutely deserved it as he was the best player at his position for many years, in the most important scheme of its era.

  38. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Fleagle fans up here still b!tch and moan about his pick six that kept them out of the Super Bowl. That is my most memorable play of all time in the entire history of the franchise. Congratulations Ronde and thank you.

  39. Teresa Killham Says:

    Did anyone load up the 2002 nfc championship game I did

  40. JimbobBucsFan Says:


  41. TDTB2022 Says:

    Fantastico Ira!!!!!!!

    Congrats to Rhonde!!!!

  42. EA Says:

    Congratulations to Ronde, another member of that legendary defense is in.

  43. Eric Says:

    Until Rice is enshrined it’s really a joke Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Joe Klecko, the list goes on and on Rice should be in the HofF point blank period!

  44. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Bout time irv bout time

  45. SlyPirate Says:

    Barber …
    Best tackler I’ve ever seen. His technique was perfect
    Best corner blitz of all time. Never tipped his hand
    Smart and solid leader

    Really deserved to be in the HOF.

  46. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Awesome! Now you can rest a minute, Ira

  47. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Hell yea. What great news. Barber was the man. That defense was what made me a huge Bucs fan and love defense. Bring that type of defense back to Tampa

  48. Ed Says:

    Well done Ira. This current generation of Buc defenders could learn how preparation and dedication wins out over what round you are drafted in or your combine numbers.

    Barber never loafed and played through injuries every Sunday. He was hobbled going up against the Eagles in his memorable classic interception.

    This is a great accomplishment for both of you.

  49. Mark Says:

    Congratulations to Ronde! Well deserved.

    Big props to Ira for battling to make this happen over the years…

  50. mark2001 Says:

    Great Job Ira, schmoozing all the other voters, and making the case. Frankly, this redeems the season in my mind. I’m so thankful he is in. A classy and bright guy that squeezed every ounce of talent out of himself to become the player he was. I remember that team so well… and that D was a once in a life time defense for a fan to have in our proverbial back yard. And having those four in is just an affirmation, a league wide validation, of the greatness of the greatness of that Defense. Congratulations Ronde. You certainly deserved it.

  51. Hodad Says:

    Shutting down the Vet. What a career, what an outstanding man. My all time favorite Buc. Yeah that’s right Tom.

  52. Brandon Says:

    Nobody more deserving. My favorite Buc and author of the single greatest play in Buccaneers history.

  53. Mr. Editor Says:

    Great tribute to a true Hall of Famer! It shouldn’t have taken this long. I can’t wait to see Mr. Barber’s speech in Canton.

  54. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    So happy for Ronde. Great player and class guy. He made the greatest play in Bucs history.

  55. Bucsfanman Says:

    When you start listing his accomplishments, it’s hard to believe he wasn’t “first-ballot”. We, of course, have inherent bias because we were privy to this first-hand.

    He DESERVES to be in the HOF!

    Tip of the hat, Ronde!

  56. Rick Says:

    I spent 5 seasons working for the team from 2012-2016, I can unequivocally attest to Ronde’s true nature. Which was he never acted as a “football star” he was just a man that loved playing the game, and the vote to get into Canton now, it proves he played it very well. Congrats my friend.

  57. deuceswld78 Says:

    Those numbers say it all… he got buried behind the greatness of the first 3 from that era whom got in, but wow. I hope LVD and Evans are our next two in

  58. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    Congrats to Ronde and to the Sage! Ira, based on the number of Bucs players you helped make it into the Hall of Fame, you should never have to pay a dinner tab at Burns. Well done!!!! (pun intended)

  59. PanthersSuck! Says:

    Barber is a special talent and person.
    I’m happy to see him where he belongs, and happy to never have to hear how he succeeded because he was a “system player” anymore.

  60. firethecannons Says:

    Congratulations to Ronde Barber! Ira did fantastic work.

    ***********!!!*** JOE is Ira ok with his covid bout?–please let him know I asked for all of us on here, we are hoping for a rapid recovery for him without any issues.

  61. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    Ronde’s credentials, wow. The best ever in so many categories. Ira should have his own dining nook in One Buc complete with Beet Salad, Bagels, Calzones, and Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling!

  62. Neckbone Says:

    “Pro Bowl, my A$$, I’m going to San Diego, dammitt!” Ronde Barber on being snubbed for the Pro Bowl, after he scored a 92 yard touchdown off an interception in the NFC Championship Game in Philidelphia, 1-19-2003.

  63. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Finally! #20 is in the Hall!

  64. mark2001 Says:

    Ira “the mailman” delivers again. Another HOF inductee delivered.

  65. Lichtie Keith Says:

    Finally! Nicely done Ronde and Ira!