Who Will Be The Next Buccaneers’ Great To Make The HOF?


Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ legend Rondé Barber has finally been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the blueprint for the modern day nickel and one of the most physical and dangerous ball hawks in NFL history. This was a well deserved honor that was long overdue.

Barber now joins former teammates Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch in the Hall of Fame with Buccaneers’ legend Lee Roy Selmon. The four were cornerstones of the dominant defense that led the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl victory in the 2002 season. This was the first great era of Buccaneers football.

Fast forward to now as the second great era of Bucs football is coming to an end. The last three years we have seen a pair of division championships and the franchise’s second Super Bowl win. It has truly been a great, albeit somewhat short, window of greatness.

Just like the first championship team, the current group will have its share of Hall of Fame inductees. So who will be the next wave of Bucs immortalized in Canton? Here are my votes.

Honorable Mentions 

Gerald McCoy was a truly great player in Tampa Bay. His nine years and six Pro Bowls with the Bucs felt wasted on many bad overall defenses. However, as good as he was I don’t believe his 59.5 career sacks will be good enough to get him in.

Rob Gronkowski will certainly be in the Hall of Fame. With all he has done as a play maker and a blocker he has a legitimate case to be the best tight end of all time. With that said, I don’t believe his Bucs legacy was good enough to really claim him as an all time Buccaneers great; much like Darrell Revis getting in this year.

I view Antonio Brown similarly to Gronk. He was maybe the greatest wide receiver of his time and a key part to the Buccaneers Super Bowl victory. Unfortunately, he will likely be remembered more for the way he left Tampa Bay than how he actually played with the Bucs and that tainted his legacy with the franchise.

Ndamukong Suh was very good with the Buccaneers and a True Tone setter on that defense. I believe he will eventually be in the Hall of Fame because he’s had a spectacular career. It’s hard to say what team he’ll be most associated with when he goes having never spent more than five years with any team, but his best years were certainly with the Detroit Lions.

Tristan Wirfs is off to an incredible start to his career. At the same time, he’s only three years in. I have every reason to believe that will become a legendary Bucs Hall of Famer, but it’s just too early in his career to say that definitely.

Okay, So Who Are The Buccaneers Future Hall Of Famers?

Tom Brady 

Yes, Tom Brady will always be remembered as a New England Patriot first and foremost. What he did there was like nothing the league had seen before. However, that doesn’t take away from his brilliant years with the Bucs.

The TB12 era shook the NFL when Brady signed with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers quarterback was all anyone could talk about. Questioning how much he had left in the tank or if he could win outside of New England. Needless to say, Brady answered those questions.

In his first season he led the Buccaneers to their second championship in franchise history and threw for 40 touchdowns along the way. He followed that by leading the league in passing yards (setting a new career high in this area) as well as touchdown passes. His time in Tampa Bay stands alone as its own incredible chapter to a Hall of Fame career.

Mike Evans

Mike Evans might be one of the most underrated wide receivers in the league, but no one can deny that he’s trending to the Hall of Fame. He has an NFL record of nine 1,000 yard seasons to start his career and only two wide receivers have more total 1,000 yard seasons for their entire career.

Evans currently ranks 45th all time in receiving yards and 30th all time in receiving touchdowns. And while these rankings are excellent considering that he hasn’t even turned 30 yet, there is still work to be done here.

Regardless of anything else, Evans standing with the Bucs is unquestionable. He holds many of the Buccaneers offensive records. On top of that we will always remember his playoff run, scoring either a touchdown or having 100 or more receiving yards in three of four games on the Super Bowls run and five of seven of his total playoff games in his career.

Lavonte David 

Lavonte David is the biggest question mark in terms of Hall of Fame future. His one pro bowl and one all pro selection are nice but not spectacular. Frankly, that’s not the type of resume you expect from a Hall of Fame player.

However, when you compare David to other great linebackers he has better statistics in most categories. This is to say that what he has done in the field has been better than more decorated linebackers.

For example, David is more productive in every meaningful measurement of a linebacker, excluding combined tackles, than eight time pro bowl and six time all pro Bobby Wagner. In fact, if there was a close comparison for David in terms of stats then it would be Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher.

It seems unjust that David’s greatness has been overlooked for the last decade as he has played with a lot of underwhelming defenses around him. Sadly, that’s the reality and voters will consider his lack of accolades. I’m not sure how long it will take him to get in it if he gets in at all, but there is no question that Lavonte David deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

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