Ronde Barber says he's headed to Fox Sports this fall
Ronde Barber played 16 seasons in the NFL but says he feels like a rookie again.
The Bucs cornerback, who announced his retirement earlier this month, said he will begin his broadcasting career by joining Fox Sports this fall.
Barber, 38, said Friday the scope and specifics of his role will be known shortly but it's a given he will be involved at some level in the network's coverage of the NFL with likely duties for Fox Sports 1, set to launch in Aug.
"Its been good working this out with Fox,'' Barber said in a text to the Tampa Bay Times. "The guys there have been great. I will likely have a multifaceted role with Fox and Sports 1 so my exposure will be good for me my first year. It will be a learning opportunity for sure but I look forward to this new challenge. I'm definitely excited.''
There has been speculation that Barber might team with Dick Stockton to broadcast NFL games for FOX in the fall. Stockton has been the Sunday partner of former Bucs safety John Lynch.
Barber left little doubt at his retirement announcement he would seek a career in broadcasting. He had met with Fox and the NFL Network each off-season for the past three years. "You'll see my mug on TV somewhere,'' he said at the time.
Barber appeared in more games (241) and made more starts (232) than any player in Bucs history, ending his career with 215 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in the league. Though only 5-10, 185-pounds, Barber racked up 1,428 tackles – second only to linebacker Derrick Brooks – and had a club-record 47 interceptions , including eight returned for touchdowns. He also had 28 sacks.
The list of broadcasters with ties to Tampa Bay continues to bloom: Lynch, Warren Sapp (NFLN), Tony Dungy (NBC), Jon Gruden, Keyshawn Johnson, Steve Young, Trent Dilfer Herm Edwards (ESPN) and Shaun King (NBC) among them.
If Barber's NFL career is any indication, he's in for a long run on television.
"I'm back to being a rookie!'' he said.