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Barber absent from start of Bucs' offseason program

TAMPA — The Bucs reconvened Monday at One Buc Place for the start of their offseason conditioning program, but of note was someone who was not there.

Ronde Barber still is undecided about playing a 17th season, coach Greg Schiano said. Team officials will not press him for a decision.

"He's not under contract, so, no, he was not here," Schiano said. "We've been in communication, but there's no developments, and that's fine. That's the way we kind of left it. We just continue to keep in communication. There's certainly no silence or anything. I just think it's the process of figuring it out."

Would the team issue a deadline for Barber's decision?

"At some point, I guess, down the road, but we're not anywhere near that," Schiano said.

Barber was offered a chance to return after a meeting with Schiano and GM Mark Dominik last month. Major variables about his exact role and salary are unknown. The Bucs signed former 49er Dashon Goldson, the top free-agent safety on the market, to take Barber's starting job at free safety.

BACKING OFF? Schiano said he is willing to stand pat with his current quarterbacks if no opportunity to increase competition at the position presents itself.

Schiano's comments immediately after the season that he wanted someone to push starter Josh Freeman caused a stir. But Schiano has resigned himself to finding competition being easier said than done.

"If we get someone in here, we do. If we don't, we don't," he said. "I'm good with that. Again, I clarified it once, and I probably should do it again, because quarterback is such a focus position. (Causing a stir) wasn't my intent the day after the season. My intent was just to express that I believe in competition and I want it to be prevalent."

TAKING ROLL: Schiano said the Bucs enjoyed very impressive attendance for Monday's voluntary workouts, with all players under contract except CB Eric Wright showing up. Wright's wife gave birth to a girl Sunday in Los Angeles, and he remained there with his family.

Around the league

Ryan unconcerned: Matt Ryan of the Falcons isn't focusing on contract talks as he appears destined to become the next $100 million quarterback. The six-year, $66 million contract he signed as a rookie in 1998 expires after the 2013 season. "I understand the nature of the business and how everything operates," Ryan said at his celebrity golf tournament in Duluth, Ga. "At the same time, my focus has always been to just try to prepare myself to just play and let all the other stuff take care of itself. I'm not really too worried about it."

Moves: The Browns signed Shayne Graham, a former Florida kicker and a 12-year NFL veteran. … The Eagles released quarterback Trent Edwards. … The Saints signed former Seahawks and Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace. … The Texans are installing the world's largest video boards, 30 percent larger than at Cowboys Stadium. Each of Houston's boards will be 53 feet high and 277 feet wide; those at Cowboys Stadium are 72 by 160.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Barber absent from start of Bucs' offseason program 04/15/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 15, 2013 10:28pm]
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