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Barber says Bucs want him back

Tampa Bay, which struggled in the secondary last season, wants safety Ronde Barber to return. “I’ve got time,’’ he says.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tampa Bay, which struggled in the secondary last season, wants safety Ronde Barber to return. “I’ve got time,’’ he says.

TAMPA — The Bucs have told safety Ronde Barber they want him to return for a 17th season.

However, Barber said Friday night that he is in no hurry to make a decision.

"They want me to play, but they have left it up to me like they have pretty much every year," Barber said at the DeBartolo Family Foundation All-Star Celebrity Gala. "I've got time, so I'm going to take my time."

Barber, who turns 38 on April 7, said he met with Bucs general manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano on Thursday. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent Tuesday.

Barber's twin brother, Tiki, said Thursday that Ronde planned to play in 2013. When asked Friday if his brother was correct, Ronde said, "I believe he believes I want to play."

Barber recently returned from a trip to California where he explored opportunities in broadcasting.

"But I've done that every year for the last several years." he said.

It's unclear what role Barber would have next season. He made a seamless transition from cornerback to safety last season and led the team with four interceptions.

The Bucs had the league's worst pass defense a year ago and are in desperate need of help in the secondary.

Barber said he has no timetable for making a decision about whether to continue playing, but Tampa Bay's third-round pick in 1997 made it clear the team would like him to return.

Around the league

Dolphins keep hartline: Receiver Brian Hartline said he was "kind of curious" about his value as a free agent on the open market. But his curiosity didn't get very far.

Hartline decided to bypass free agency, signing a six-year, $30.7 million contract ($12.5 million guaranteed) to remain with the Dolphins. Hartline said free agency would have been more "lucrative," but he is excited about the team's future: "It just shows how much more important it is for me to be in this organization and be in South Florida, and what we're growing, than it is to just chase the top dollar."

Backup QB Matt Moor signed a two-year, $8 million deal to return to Miami.

Chiefs reportedly get ex-Falcons corner: Former Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson reached an agreement on a three-year deal with the Chiefs, ESPN reported. Robinson, 30, was among several veteran cuts made by Atlanta last week, joining running back Michael Turner and defensive end John Abraham.

Cardinals: Five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson, 33, was released after 12 seasons.

Cowboys: The team offered safety Danny McCray a one-year tender worth $1.3 million, and Anthony Spencer, who is moving from linebacker to defensive end, plans to sign a franchise tag deal for $10.6 million.

Giants: Prices will stay the same for season ticket holders for the fourth straight year. Parking will increase by $5 to $30.

Jaguars: The team released safety Dawan Landry and cornerback Aaron Ross, veterans whose play failed to match their pay. The moves are the latest in the team's youth movement under new general manager Dave Caldwell and new coach Gus Bradley. The team previously released right tackle Guy Whimper and told veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis he would not be re-signed. Landry started 32 games the past two seasons after signing a five-year, $27.5 million contract in 2011. Ross played in 14 games for the team in 2012. He signed a three-year contract worth up to $15.3 million last March.

Panthers: Starting cornerback Chris Gamble was released, saving $7.9 million and getting the team under the salary cap. The 2004 first-round pick from Ohio State has spent his entire career with Carolina, becoming the team's career interceptions leader with 27.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Barber says Bucs want him back 03/08/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 12:20am]
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