Ronde Barber says he won't play for another team

Al Messerschmidt

Appearing on NFL Network today, Ronde Barber said that he would only play for the Buccaneers if he were to return, answering a question as to whether he would play elsewhere with "basically a no". Of course, as usual, he was noncommittal about his decision to play. The Buccaneers want him back, though it is unlikely that he would be a starter. Ronde Barber now has to make the decision as to whether he wants to play for a seventeenth season in the NFL.

Last year, Barber played at safety for the first time in his career and looked like a Pro Bowler after a rough start the first couple of games. Despite that, the Buccaneers decided to sign Dashon Goldson in free agency, effectively replacing Barber at safety. If Ronde was to return he'd likely play a slot cornerback or third safety role, where he'd be on the field in nickel sets. That could still see him take up to two thirds of all defensive snaps, but his days as a starter are likely over, after fifteen seasons of uninterrupted starts.

If Ronde Barber does return, the Bucs would at least have some form of depth at cornerback as they pursue Darrelle Revis and likely draft a cornerback or two, three, seven.

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