In his first year of eligibility, Ronde Barber is one of the 108 modern-era nominees up to join the Class of 2018 Football Hall of Fame.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed who was on the ballot and Ronde Barber isn’t the only Barber up for nomination, as he is joined by twin brother Tiki.
The selection committee will reduce the players to a group of 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, 15 finalists in January. The official 2018 class is to be selected on the eve of the Super Bowl.
Only five modern-era players can join the Hall in a single year and among the number is John Lynch and Simeon Rice. Both also played prominent portions of their careers as Buccaneers. Safety John Lynch has been among the top 15 for the last four years while defensive end Simeon Rice is nominated for the third time. The trio were all key performers in the Bucs’ only Super Bowl win, which closed the 2002 season.
Lynch and Barber were both crucial parts of the early 2000s defense but, known for being solid in his position, Barber started every game 13 seasons straight. That’s more games than all but two other defensive backs in league history. Ronde Barber is the prototype for consistency and the only player in NFL History with at least 45 interceptions and at least 25 sacks.
If Barber were to make the cut, he would join a short list of Bucs in the Hall and an even shorter list of first-year-eligible inductees. This is an honor both Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp hold.
The road to Canton began for Barber when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him in 1997. It seems the most instinctive player of his generation might have another win in him.