Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

If Bucs sign safety, does Barber have a future here?

Buccaneers safety Ronde Barber, who is also being courted by television networks, has been asked by the Bucs to return and he is mulling it over.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Buccaneers safety Ronde Barber, who is also being courted by television networks, has been asked by the Bucs to return and he is mulling it over.

TAMPA

This is all about saving face. This is all about moving on and not wanting to make it look like they kicked an iconic player to the curb.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano met with Ronde Barber last Thursday and told him they would like to have him return for a 17th season. Of course they would.

"He asked us for some time to make his decision and we certainly respect that," Dominik said in a release by the team Sunday.

What the Bucs didn't announce but made clear, those close to the 37-year-old Barber say, is that they plan to sign a safety in free agency. That's why Barber can take his time. If he were a big part of their plan on defense, wouldn't they need to know whether Barber was in or out for 2013 by Tuesday at the latest?

"I've got time, so I'm going to take my time," Barber said Friday.

Barber was asked about the meeting and described it as "transformational." As in geometry. Transformation is about movement, which always brings about a form of change.

At the same meeting a year ago, Barber was told the Bucs planned to sign a cornerback in free agency. With Aqib Talib still on the roster, the signing of Lions free agent Eric Wright to a five-year, $37.5 million contract meant Barber would have to transform again, this time to safety.

He did a good job, particularly learning a new position while working with rookie safety Mark Barron. But even though he had four interceptions, his coverage skills have declined. If the Bucs are committed to playing as much single safety, man free coverage as they did last season, resulting in the league's worst pass defense, they need a safety that can cover a lot of grass and take all the right angles.

Maybe that is 49ers free agent Dashon Goldson, 28, who has nine interceptions in the past two seasons. Maybe they will draft Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro 13th overall, as forecast in a mock draft by ESPN's Todd McShay.

What role would that leave for Barber? Playing in the slot on nickel passing downs.

Barber has options. He scheduled a trip to California just before his meeting with the Bucs Thursday to meet with television executives bent on hiring him.

The Bucs have always had trouble saying goodbye to their best players. Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Warren Sapp — none left on their own terms. Barber's resume is Hall of Fame worthy. He's the last link to the Super Bowl XXXVII team. The Bucs are fairly confident Barber will not play for another team. Either way, it's clear they're moving on.

If Bucs sign safety, does Barber have a future here? 03/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 8:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing

    Outdoors

    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?

    Ml

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  3. Jeff Vinik contributing $6 million to fund Lightning's practice facility upgrade

    Blogs

    Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will invest $6 million in upgrading the team's practice facility, the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  4. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  5. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …