NFL Analysis: Ronde Barber Makes a Statement to Rest of League

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Both Jay Glazer of FoxSports and Jason La Canfora of NFL.com are reporting that Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber has signed a one-year deal to return to the Buccaneers.

Barber, who is entering his fifteenth season in the league, is one of the few players who have recorded over 20 sacks and interceptions, and he has returned seven interceptions for touchdowns in his career. Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik has made it clear that he still believes the aging Barber still has plenty left in the tank.

“I think the one guy that continues to come to my mind, and it’s not really a surprise, but, Ronde Barber, at his age, is a phenomenal football player, and he defies the position because of how well he takes care of his body and his mind week-in and week-out during the offseason and regular season,’’ Dominik said earlier this month during an interview on the Buccaneers' official website. “He just defies logic, and he does that because of his commitment to his training, and then his instincts and his ball skills take over. It’s always fun and it’s exciting to continue to see him play at such a high level, and he’s really a guy that I felt could have had a Pro Bowl opportunity, or certainly should have been an alternate, in my opinion. So I’d say Ronde, I’m really proud of him, because corners don’t play in the National Football League at his age, but he does. You can’t tell if he’s 30 or if he’s 35. You wouldn’t know the difference.”

Dominik may be a little overly impressed with Barber, who has lost a little bit of speed as he has aged. However, he is a good fit for the team's Tampa-2 defensive looks, and it is good for the Buccaneers to secure one of the pieces of their defense. With free agency likely to be shortened this offseason, more teams should be trying to re-sign their players, since they will be harder to replace this year. While many teams have been using the uncertainty over the Collective Bargaining agreement to avoid re-signing their potential free agents, the Buccaneers have shown that it is not impossible to re-sign a player who is desired by his team. Savvy agents whose clients are awaiting a renewal of their contract should use the Barber deal to apply pressure to their clients' teams to step up and get a deal done. It would benefit the players looking to stay with their teams, and it would also benefit the teams trying to avoid losing talent in this unstable offseason.

HankKoeblerHeadShortHank is a sports journalist attending the University of Missouri's school of journalism. You may email Hank @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ HankKoebler

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