Alone in his exclusive 40/25 club, Barber says youthful Bucs may rejuvenate his career
Longevity helped Ronde Barber become the only cornerback in NFL history to record 40 interceptions and 25 sacks in his career.
But at 35 and in the final year of his contract, being part of the youngest team in the league has made him consider sticking around a few more years.
Barber said he has been rejuvenated by playing alongside so many talented, young teammates. The Bucs are 7-3 and one game behind Atlanta in the NFC South heading into Sunday's game at Baltimore.
"A hundred fold. I can't put it into words, really,'' Barber said when asked if he's been rejuvenated. "That being said, I'll try.
"I come into work every day and it's not like I'm grinding. As much as I know it is a grind, I'm coming to work every day and it's like I'm coming to hang out with a bunch of young kids and they make me feel like I'm their age. It's not working the other way where I'm trying to make them mature. I think I'm digressing. It's a good thing. I'm excited to go out to practice, I'm excited about Sundays. I'm excited to watch them play, but also, to see what they can do. This is a dynamic group of guys, now. They're obviously young, but they're talented as hell and athletically, I've never, ever been around guys this talented. It's just exciting. I wake up every morning excited to get here and see what the day is going to bring. It's been a good year.''
Barber admitted at the start of the 2010 season that this would likely be his last year. But he has never ruled out continuing his career.
"Yeah, you know, I told you this in the off-season, I'll take it to the table in February or March, whenever that time comes,'' Barber said. "I'm not even ready to look across that bridge yet. But, I am at the end of my contract. It's got to be a mutual wanting of each other, but we'll see.
"But I can only go on my examples of my peers. I think Tiki (Barber) was pretty juiced at the end of his career and he still decided he didn't feel like going through an off-season and he was done. There's a lot more that goes into it than what's going on at the current time. But we'll see. I can't rule it out, to be honest with you, I can't say that I'm completely done. (General manager) Mark (Dominik) and (coach) Raheem (Morris) will help me make a decision one way or the other.''