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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Decisions looming for Ronde Barber, Dallas Clark



ATLANTA -- Ronde Barber and his family gathered outside the visitors’ locker room at the Georgia Dome, and something about the whole scene seemed final.

Barber and his wife and two daughters posed for pictures with Barber’s parents and friends, making one wonder whether Barber also wondered if he’d played his last game.

The Bucs great, in his 16th season, said he hasn’t made a decision on returning, and that’s true. But because the decision involves others – do the Bucs want him back and how much will they pay him? – he is preparing himself for anything.

“If it is (his last game), it is,” said Barber, 37. “I’ve always been all right with that. I’ve never been shy of saying I’m proud of what I put out on the field and today is no different.”

Barber, who moved to safety this season after 15 years at cornerback, is on a year-to-year agreement with the Bucs and is not under contract for 2013. That means the club will have decide whether it wants him back and what his role will be, in addition to how much to pay him, before the sides can proceed.

Another player who is in limbo is tight end Dallas Clark, who will become a free agent in March and hasn’t committed to anything yet.

“I haven’t even thought about that,” he said. “We’ll see what the options are and we’ll go from there and make a reasonable response for myself and my family. Whatever else happens, it’s been a heck of a run with this team. We left a lot out there, which is unfortunate, but a lot of positives coming back next year with this team.”

Clark answered the biggest question about him: Could he stay healthy? He played in all 16 games, catching 47 passes for 435 yards.

"I stayed healthy and was able to help the team," Clark said. "That’s all I could really control. That just kind of speaks for itself."

[Last modified: Sunday, December 30, 2012 11:26pm]


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