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After 16 season in the NFL, all with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ronde Barber has decided to hang up his cleats and call it a career. When I heard the news the other day, the first question I asked myself, as I usually do when players retire, is Barber a Hall of Famer?
Initially I thought it was close but I leaned towards him not getting in. Mostly it had to do with him never really standing out. Yea, we all know he was a solid defensive back for many years, but he never seemed to do anything noteworthy. He played for many years as part of a great defense and while he was definitely a reason they were great, maybe the guys around him made him seem better than he really was?
So I looked up his career stats and they were much better than I anticipated. I knew he had a good amount of sacks coming off the edge on the corner blitz, but I did not realize he had sacked the quarterback 28 times in his career. That just seems like an impossible number for a defensive back to reach. Barber also has 47 career interceptions, 12 defensive touchdowns (which is tied for 3rd all-time) and 1,428 tackles (second in Bucs history). He also started 199 games in a row at the cornerback position, which is the most of all-time. Add it all together and he has put up some incredible numbers in his 16 year career.
With all of that said, I do not think Barber gets in the Hall of Fame for the first few years if his eligibility. When you think of Ronde Barber, he just does not scream Hall of Famer. That being said, I do believe his stats make it tough to keep him out for too long and he makes it in eventually.