1997 draft by the numbers
65 Players taken ahead of Ronde Barber
4 Players taken by the Bucs ahead of Barber: Warrick Dunn (12th overall), Reidel Anthony (16th), Jerry Wunsch (37th) and Frank Middleton (63rd)
1 twin brother taken ahead of Ronde: Tiki, by the Giants (36th)
1 Player taken ahead of Barber who remains active: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, by the Chiefs (13th)
For the full list of players taken ahead of Barber, go to tampabay.com/bucs.
What they're saying about Ronde Barber
Rich McKay, former Bucs GM:
"Ronde is the consummate pro: great work ethic, a team-first guy who led both by example, and when appropriate, by getting in somebody's face. Tampa has been a better franchise and city because of Ronde's presence.''
Ryan Nece, former Bucs LB:
"He wasn't a freak by the measurements and combine metrics, but he was a freak in terms of mental toughness. That's something you can't measure."
Booger McFarland, former Bucs DT:
"I think he meets the Hall-of-Fame criteria because when you look at how many players have 40 interceptions and 25 sacks, he's the only one. That's a short list. He made his position one of emphasis in the game. When you start to redefine your position, then you start to put yourself in a category all your own."
Tony Dungy, former Bucs coach:
"He's going to suffer (in Hall of Fame voting) a little bit because people are going to say he wasn't the best player on that defense when they look at (Derrick) Brooks and (Warren) Sapp. But to me, he reminds me of (former Steelers WR) John Stallworth. People always said (Lynn) Swann was spectacular. But John played a long time and when you looked at the numbers, you say, 'This guy really was something special.' I think that's going to happen with Ronde."
Darrelle Revis, new Bucs CB, via Twitter:
"Congrats to Ronde Barber for having a unbelievable career."
Donald Penn, Bucs T, via Twitter:
"Ronde will be missed greatly. Thanks for everything you shared with me."
Roy Miller, former Bucs DT, via Twitter:
"Thought Ronde had three years left in him! He is the definition of a pro on and off the field. A legend at corner. Was an honor to play with you."
Kellen Winslow Jr., former Bucs TE, via Twitter:
"Mad Respect for Ronde! True professional."
Mark Lepselter, Barber's broadcast and marketing agent:
"I fully expect Ronde to be in NFL broadcasting this season."
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com:
"Barber will be an interesting case for the Hall of Fame Committee someday, and we believe he'll have a shot at enshrinement. But that's a debate for another day. There is no debating Barber's place as the rock of Tampa's franchise over the last two decades, a player who outlasted his talented twin brother by six full NFL seasons."
Pat Yasinskas, ESPN.com:
"It's hugely important that it was Barber who made the call. The Bucs haven't always been graceful about parting ways with their icons. … That's the best way to end it for everyone involved. Barber gets to go out on top. The Bucs get to move forward without isolating one of the best players in franchise history. … By ending things gracefully, they at least get to keep him on their good side for the long term. In an ideal world, that's how every NFL career should end."