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Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber says he's retiring from the NFL

4:01 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber
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(CBS Sports) -- Ronde Barber's been mulling the decision on whether or not to return for a 17th season with the Buccaneers for some time now, but he's apparently decided to retire instead of make another run in Tampa Bay.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports spoke with Barber on Wednesday and the defensive back told him he's walking away from the game.

"I've had a better run than I ever could've dreamed of having," Barber told Glazer.

CBS Sports Radio and Ronde's twin brother Tiki Barber confirmed the news as well:

Congrats & happy for my twin, Ronde, who's hanging up the cleats! He'll be w us to chat @TBDintheAM on 1st thing tmrw

Barber leaves the game with a whopping 47 career interceptions (eight returned for touchdowns) and 16 seasons of strong cornerback play.

The cornerback was a five-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro, a member of the 2000's All-Decade team and a member of one of the more dominant defensive teams we've seen in a long time with the 2002 Bucs.

As Glazer notes, Barber is one of the last holdovers from that unit, which throttled the Raiders in winning Super Bowl XXXVII.

The Buccaneers would likely welcome Barber back this year, but they've also clearly prepared for life without him, having traded for Darrelle Revis, drafted Johnthan Banks in the second round and signed Dashon Goldson in free agency this offseason.

Perhaps the most impressive measure of Barber's career -- in terms of both productivity and longevity -- is the fact that he's the only player in NFL history with 40+ interceptions and 20+ sacks in a career.

Barber should make for a very, very interesting Hall of Fame debate in a few years.

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