I watched about seven minutes of the heinous ballgame between the Tampa Bay Bucs and Washington Redskins Sunday because I may or may not have had a wager on it. (I did. It was the lone ray of sunlight, outside of Chicago, in a dismally dark gambling day.) My brother Jon argued it was the worst game played in the NFL in a long time. From those seven minutes, I can’t disagree. But one thing stuck out…
Why the hell is Ronde Barber still playing in Tampa Bay? Monte’s gone. Derrick’s gone. Simeon and Warren are long gone. Dexter’s in the UFL. The heyday of the Bucs’ defense has shuffled into the NFL history books. Ronde is no longer the elite corner he was half a decade ago but he can still field the hell out of the position. So why is he still playing in Tampa?
I don’t care. Ronde is the one of the best Cover-2 corners there’s ever been and the Bears aren’t leaving the Cover-2 in the near future. By dumping a late-round pick, the Bears would invigorate a struggling secondary and add a necessary veteran presence. Ronde, who is hating the Tampa media at the moment, would have to welcome the jump to a contender and relish the opportunity take one more run at a championship.
I’m not trying to sound like a wacky sports radio call-in guy. I know trades are complicated in the NFL. The salary cap makes that a fact. But this move makes too much sense for both sides for the Bears not to make an exploratory phone call. Why would the Bucs, clearly rebuilding, shy away from dealing a veteran who won’t be around for the rebuilt? Why wouldn’t the Bears, clearly needy at corner, think dealing a fourth rounder worth the services of a player this talented?
Will it happen? Probably not. Why? Because it makes too much sense.