Ronde Barber announced this week that he would join a collection of high profile group of his contemporaries in retiring from the NFL. The highly-decorated cornerback, who became the first player ever to achieve at least 40 interceptions and 25 sacks during his career, spent all 16 of his seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Barber joins Ray Lewis, Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, Jeff Saturday, Donald Driver and Jason Hansen, among others, who have decided that the 2012 season will be their last. The clock starts this season on the five year wait to see when – or if – they will eventually be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Barber’s pursuit of immortality in Canton will be an interesting one. In addition to the 47 interceptions and 28 sacks he finished with, he went to five Pro Bowls and was named first team All Pro by the Associated Press three times. That puts him a notch ahead of Ty Law, who profiles at a 5/2 in those same categories.
But Barber’s post-season accolades ...