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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' Barber still undecided on return or retirement

Ronde Barber said he would have to consider less playing time.


Ronde Barber said he would have to consider less playing time.



Bucs defensive back Ronde Barber says he needs more time to decide whether he will return for a 17th season.

Appearing on NFL Network Monday, Barber acknowledged that his role will change after the signing of 49ers safety Deshon Goldson.

"I'm going to be a young 38 like I told you earlier,'' Barber said.

A 17th season?

"Perhaps. I have not made a decision yet,'' Barber said. "They've allowed me to not rush the decision so I'm not going to rush it.'

When will he made a decision? "I wish I could tell you,'' he said.

Barber says he's had the opportunity to play for another team as a free agent the past three years, "but we've had an understanding that I would always be back in Tampa,'' he said.

Barber described Goldson as a 'pretty good player,' but said the signing does not affect his decision.

"I met with Mark (Dominik) and coach (Greg) Schiano and we had a discussion. I knew they were going to be active in free agency,'' Barber said. "It's the same discussion I had last year when they told me they were going to go out and get a corner in free agency and it would neccessitate a position change or some kind of role change. I had a similar conversation this year.''

Barber said he would have to consider less playing time. "That was addressed as well, but those are things that they're allowing me to weigh.''

What will it come down to?

"Probably a gut feeling at the end,'' Barber said. "And that's what it was last year. We'll see.''

Barber also had some observations about quatrerback Josh Freeman.

"I think coach wants to find out if Josh is the guy,'' Barber said. "Because Josh shows moments of complete brilliance yet he gives you the moments where you're scrathing your head as well. It was kind of reflective of our season as a whole last year. We kind of had a slow start, then had a four game winning streak, then went through a five-game losing streak.

"A lot of that hinged on the way our quarterback played. When he played well during that four-game winning streak, they were talking about him as the most valuable player of the league. He followed that my a not-so-good streak and everybody wondering. I think he put himself in a situation where he has to prove himself to his coach.''

Barber said he Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis would be a good fit into the Bucs defense.

"He is one of the premier guys to play the position in a very, very long time,'' Barber said. "The way coach Schiano and Bill Sheridan had our defense playing last year, he fits well into that system because we ask our corners to do a lot. To be honest with you, the guys we had last year, where they could be good players, we put a lot of stress on them and they didn't succeed the way we needed them to. But a guy like Revis could fit to our system.''

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:13pm]


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