The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced 130 modern era nominees to be selected for the in the 2021 class. Some of the top names include Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Justin Tuck, and Steven Jackson.
This year, five Buccaneers have been named as nominees, from familiar faces, to new kids on the block.
The 1997 offensive rookie of the year gets his first shot to become a finalist in a stacked 2021 class. Warrick Dunn played five seasons in Tampa Bay, totaling 7,690 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Two of his three pro-bowls came in pewter and red with two 1,000 yard seasons. Dunn is a long shot finalist, but it’s good to see him get recognized as a nominee.
One of the most beloved Buccaneers of all time, Mike Alstott has an uphill to become a finalist in a loaded 2021 class. It’s not because he doesn’t deserve it, however. The Hall of Fame simply does not recognize the fullback position. The last player to get enshrined at the position was Larry Csonka in 1987.
Alstott delivered some of the most memorable moments in Buccaneers history, including a goal line touchdown against the Washington Redskins, and a highlight play versus the Browns that just made your jaw drop.
In 10 season, Alstott totaled 5088 yards, six pro bowls, three all-pros, and Super Bowl ring. Alstott deserves to get in the hall as a fullback, but will the committee recognize the position once again?
One of the best free agent acquisitions in Buccaneers history, Simeon Rice is finally getting his shot at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After six seasons in Tampa Bay, Rice manufactured 69.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, and four interceptions.
Rice is second in Buccaneers history for all-time sacks, right behind Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. In his first five seasons in Tampa Bay, Rice accumulated double digits sacks, before his streak broke due to injury.
Simeon Rice may have a chance to become a finalist at some point, but I’m not sure 2021 will be that year with a stacked class.
The only player in NFL history with at least 45 interceptions and 25 sacks, Ronde Barber deserves a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There are very few players who pave the way for a different style of play, or revolutionize a position.
Ronde Barber was that guy, transforming the nickle position to what it is today.
No corner back in NFL history has more tackles than Ronde Barber. His 1,251 are more than Charles Woodson and Ronnie Lott. I could go on, but it shouldn’t be need, Ronde Barber is a Hall of Famer.
Death, taxes, and John Lynch getting snubbed. That’s been the story for eight straight years. John Lynch has continuously been named a finalist, but has failed to crack the top five, and get his bust in Canton.
Remember what I said about Ronde Barber transforming the nickle position? Well that was John Lynch and the Tampa 2. Without John Lynch, the 2002 defense is no where near as effective. You need a hard hitting safety to light up receivers over the middle field.
A nine time pro bowler and two time all-pro, John Lynch was a key cog in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl run. His 23 interceptions and 727 tackles aren’t world beating, but football purest understand his true value.