Barber entered the National Football League as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' third-round selection (66th overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft, and, over the course of his career, developed into one of the most decorated players in franchise history. He played in 241 games with 232 starts for Tampa Bay – both club records – while also recording a streak of 215 consecutive starts, tied for sixth-longest in NFL history. His 200 consecutive starts at cornerback is the most for that position in league history, and his 240 consecutive games played ranks second among defensive players since 1970.
During his career, Barber racked up 1,428 tackles – second in franchise history, behind only linebacker Derrick Brooks – 28.0 sacks, 47 interceptions, eight interception return touchdowns, 243 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, and six additional touchdowns on fumble returns and blocked/deflected punts. In 2001, Barber led the NFL in interceptions, picking off 10 passes, a Buccaneers single-season record.
Barber also played in 10 playoff games with nine starts, recording 50 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, one interception return touchdown, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He made one of the most memorable plays in Buccaneers history with his 92- yard interception returned for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2002 NFC Championship Game, sending the Buccaneers to the team's first-ever Super Bowl appearance and an eventual victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Barber is the only player in the history of the NFL to have 25 or more sacks and 40 or more interceptions. His 28.0 sacks are second-most all-time among defensive backs, and the most all-time by a cornerback. He tops the Buccaneers' record book with his nine interceptions returned for touchdowns (including postseason), and his 14 total regular-season return touchdowns put him fourth in NFL history.
Barber's on-the-field numbers earned him a myriad of accolades throughout the years, including five Pro Bowl selections, five AP All-Pro team appointments, and nine Player of the Week awards. Barber was also named to the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team.
Known for his leadership as much as his play, Barber was selected as a team captain for nine consecutive seasons (2004-12), named Buccaneers Man of the Year in 2006 and voted the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011.