FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he had spoken with Ronde Barber and that the Buccaneers veteran will be retiring:
Just got off the phone w Ronde Barber who told me he is officially retiring. "I've had a better run than I ever could've dreamed of having."— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) May 8, 2013
WDAE's JP Peterson has confirmed with Ronde Barber the report.
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Below is the official press release from the team on Barber's retirement.
Five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Rondé Barber announced today that he will retire following a brilliant and record-setting 16-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Rondé 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," said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer. "When anyone thinks of Rondé, 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 entered the National Football League as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' third-round selection (66th overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft, and, over the course of his career, developed into one of the most decorated players in franchise history. He played in 241 games with 232 starts for Tampa Bay - both club records - while also recording a streak of 215 consecutive starts, tied for sixth-longest in NFL history. His 200 consecutive starts at cornerback is the most for that position in league history, and his 240 consecutive games played ranks second among defensive players since 1970.
During his career, Barber racked up 1,428 tackles - second in franchise history, behind only linebacker Derrick Brooks - 28.0 sacks, 47 interceptions, eight interception return touchdowns, 243 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, and six additional touchdowns on fumble returns and blocked/deflected punts. He also played in 10 playoff games with nine starts, recording 50 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, one interception return touchdown, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
Barber is the only player in the history of the NFL to have 25 or more sacks and 40 or more interceptions. His 28.0 sacks are second-most all-time among defensive backs, and the most all-time by a cornerback. He tops the Buccaneers' record book with his nine interceptions returned for touchdowns (including postseason), and his 14 total regular-season return touchdowns put him fourth in NFL history.
Barber's on-the-field numbers earned him a myriad of accolades throughout the years, including five Pro Bowl selections, five AP All-Pro team appointments, and nine Defensive Player of the Week awards. The Defensive Player of the Week nods put him in a five-way tie for the most in league history, along with former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and three Pro Football Hall of Famers in linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive ends Chris Doleman and Bruce Smith.
Known for his leadership as much as his play, Barber was selected as a team captain for nine consecutive seasons (2004-12), named Buccaneers Man of the Year in 2006 and voted the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011.