We were all waiting to see what the great Ronde Barber, twin brother of former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, to make his decision to come back or retire.
Well about an hour ago, he announced his decision. Ronde Barber, after spending 16 seasons in the National Football League, all with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has decided to walk away from the game where he and his brother Tiki, left their own mark.
Drafted in the 1997 NFL Draft, at the #66 pick in the 3rd round out of the University of Virginia, the legacy of Ronde Barber began.
A 5x pro bowler, 3x first team all-pro, 2x second team all-pro, NFL 2000′s all decade team and Super Bowl XXXVII Champion, he holds the most consecutive starts by an NFL corner-back and most quarterback sacks by an NFL corner-back. He has played a total of over 215 straight games, dating back to 11/21/1999 to the last game he played against the Falcons back on December 30th. Barber is tied 6th on the list with Alan Page, with the #1 spot belonging to Brett Favre at 297 games. An astounding 15 consecutive years without missing a game, is something that has to be remembered and saluted.
“I’ve had a better run than I ever could’ve dreamed of having.” – Ronde Barber on his retirement.
Barber is the only player in league history with 40 or more interceptions and 20 or more sacks. He is 4th on the all time list non-offensive touchdowns list with 14, behind Deion Sanders who has 19, Devin Hester who has 18 and Rod Woodson who has 17. The 16 year veteran has scored at least one touchdown from 1998 to 2009. Also holds the Tampa Buccaneers career interceptions record and defensive touchdown returns with 8.
“I wish him well. And I consider it an extreme honor to have had the opportunity to play with Ronde. Ronde’s the type when he made the decision that he was done, I don’t see anyone changing his mind to think otherwise. I talked to him a few times about playing golf the last few weeks. Now he has no excuses.” – former teammate Derrick Brooks on Ronde Barber
As a Chicago Bears fan, I enjoyed watching Ronde Barber play. His signature move after returning an interception for a touchdown, pointing to the back of his jersey as he races across the back of the end zone before being swarmed by trailing teammates, is definitely one of the greatest defensive backs to ever play this game. I have a lot of respect for both Barber brothers and I truly believe both of them, one day should be inducted into the Hall of Fame together, it doesn’t have to be right away, but they deserve it.
Ronde Barbers stats as of 2012 are the following:
1,172 tackles, 28.0 sacks, 200 passes deflected, 47 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles with 12 touchdowns.
His twin brother Tiki sent out a tweet an hour ago, congratulating his brother on officially announcing his retirement.
— Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) May 8, 2013