Ronde Barber's first season in the NFL was in 1997 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was teammates with some of the best young players in the league, such as Warrick Dunn, John Lynch, Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott, and Derrick Brooks. While all of those players moved on from the Bucs and eventually retired, Barber has been the one constant in Tampa Bay for the last 16 years. Until now.
Barber told Jay Glazer that he will retire rather than play a 17th season.
Barber, a third-round pick out of Virginia, had to prove his meddle with the Bucs and played in just one game as a rookie. By the end of his second season, he was the full-time starter for Tampa Bay at right cornerback, and he never failed to show up; Barber has played in all 240 possible games since 1998.
He made his first of five Pro Bowl appearances in 2001 after recording a career-high 10 interceptions for the Buccaneers. Barber was also a three-time First-Team All-Pro member, a Super Bowl champion in 2002, and a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team. He holds the records for most consecutive starts by a cornerback and most quarterback sacks by a cornerback with 28.
Barber managed to outlast his twin brother Tiki, a second-round pick by the Giants in 1997, by six seasons. By the end of his career however, there was some noticeable decline in his ability, but that didn't stop him from recording four interceptions in 2012 after moving to safety.
Few players will ever spend as much time in the NFL as Ronde Barber has. Just ask his many long-since retired teammates.