Ronde Barber not a big cap hit for Bucs

I just got the official contract details on the one-year deal veteran cornerback Ronde Barber signed to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This contract is very simple. Barber is scheduled to earn $3 million in base salary. He didn’t get any signing bonus and there are no other frills in the contract. He’ll count $3 million against this year’s salary cap.

That’s a bit less than the one-year deal Barber signed last year. In 2011, Barber played on a one-year contract that was worth $4 million. Even with a coaching change, the Bucs made it very clear to Barber that they would like him back. He took some time to decide what he wanted to do, but eventually agreed to play another season. That’s good for the Bucs, who have some uncertainty at cornerback. Starter Aqib Talib is facing a June trial on an assault charge in Texas and could face prison time or a suspension.

The Bucs are still considering drafting a cornerback early. LSU’s Morris Claiborne seems like a good possibility at No. 5 overall. Or the Bucs could target another cornerback in the early rounds.

Also, the two-year deal signed by backup offensive tackle DeMar Dotson is worth at least $2.5 million. Dotson is scheduled to earn $800,000 in base salary this year and has a $200,000 roster bonus. In 2013, he’s scheduled to make $1.5 million, but his contract has an escalator clause that could boost that salary if he meets certain playing time requirements.

Counting the Barber and Dotson deals, the Bucs still have right about $15 million in salary-cap space.