For Buccaneers fans who had the privilege of watching No. 20 report to work for the past 16 seasons, his new title appears to be “Hall of Famer Ronde Barber.''

Not so fast.

Barber, who switched from cornerback to safety for his final NFL season, certainly has powerful credentials as a candidate for the Canton, Ohio, shrine of excellence.

In addition to the five Pro Bowls and 1,428 tackles, Barber defined the position of slot corner, and he boasts a signature moment — that 92-yard interception return at Philadelphia that clinched the 2002 club's NFC title.

The pick was vintage Barber, baiting Donovan McNabb on a fake blitz and then dropping into coverage.

Earlier in the conference championship game, Barber came around the right edge and knocked the ball out of McNabb's hand for a fumble that was recovered by teammate Ellis Wyms.

That one game, Tampa Bay's stepping stone to the Super Bowl, showcased Barber's unique versatility.

But before Bucs fans guarantee Barber a place in Canton, the reality is that it's exceedingly difficult for modern-day defensive backs to crack open those Hall of Fame doors.

There are only 23 defensive backs in the Hall, and among defensive backs who have retired in the past two decades, only four have been inducted: Darrell Green, Ronnie Lott, Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson.

That's the kind of scrutiny Barber faces when he first becomes eligible for the Class of 2018.

Barber has thrived while facing down competition for 16 NFL seasons, but the 2018 Hall of Fame class could feature a killer group of other first-time eligibles: Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Brian Urlacher.

And don't forget about returning candidates who fall short in 2017.