Bucs handling Barber situation properly

The Ronde Barber situation isn’t one the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to bungle.

They’ve stepped out in front, saying they want the defensive back to return for a 17th season.

“Coach [Greg] Schiano and I met with Ronde this past week and expressed our desire for him to return to play another season with the Buccaneers,’’ general manager Mark Dominik said in a statement released by the team Saturday morning. “He asked us for some time to make his decision and we certainly respect that.”

The ball obviously now is in Barber’s court and he has to make a decision on if he wants to keep playing or if he wants to retire. Either way, the Bucs will come out looking fine on this one.

That hasn’t always been the case in the past. The team caused outrage among fans when it released icon Derrick Brooks in 2009 and the departure of John Lynch wasn’t handled gracefully.

But this is a win-win situation for the Bucs. If Barber decides to return, the Bucs get his experience back for another season. If he decides to retire, they’ll hold a big news conference to give him a proper sendoff.