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WUSF's coverage of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Feb. 7, 2021.

Former Bucs Safety John Lynch Named To Pro Football Hall Of Fame

John Lynch in the Hall of Fame
Courtesy: Pro Football Hall of Fame
Former Bucs safety John Lynch was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 6, 2021.

John Lynch was an anchor on a Bucs defense that won the Super Bowl in 2003.

After eight years of eligibility, John Lynch can now call himself an NFL Hall of Famer.

The former safety and current general manager of the San Francisco 49ers became the fourth prominent former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player to be named into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

He got the word of the enshrinement from Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker, who showed up at Lynch’s front door on Saturday to give him the news.

“I think that’s the knock you’ve been waiting for,” Baker said.

With his hard-hitting, physical style, Lynch helped lead the Bucs to their 48-21 Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders in 2003 as part of a defense that includes fellow Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, along with Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice.

“I’ve always said it’s not that big of a thing,” Lynch said to his family upon hearing the news. “It means the world you’re here. Thanks to all you guys for always being there for me.

“I thought I always had great perspective that I gave it all I had on the field. And whether I made it or not, it’s not going to change my life.

“My God, this feels life-changing,” Lynch said, laughing.

Selected in the third round of the 1993 NFL draft, Lynch spent 10 seasons with the Bucs before closing out his career with the Denver Broncos.

Lynch became a starter in 1997 and anchored a defense that became one of the best in the NFL, earning his first of nine Pro Bowls.

“One of the best, and most physical safeties to ever play this game,” Brooks said in the video. “On and off the field.”

In 2002, the hard-hitting Lynch helped lead the top-ranked Bucs defense with 96 tackles (50 solo), three interceptions and 12 passes defense as the Bucs finished the regular season 12-4.

Along with Lee Roy Selmon , the Bucs’ first draft pick in their inaugural 1976 season, and Tony Dungy, who coached the Bucs from 1996-2001 and was seen as largely the architect of the Bucs’ Super Bowl squad – the other Hall of Famers with Bucs ties: Randall McDaniel, Steve Young, Tim Brown and Ron Wolf.

Lynch finished his career with 26 interceptions, 13 sacks, and more than 1,000 tackles.

2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class
Courtesy: NFL
Former Bucs safety John Lynch was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 6, 2021.

Others voted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday:

  • Alan Faneca, guard with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1998-2007 and New York Jets from 2008-09
  • Tom Flores, coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1979-87
  • Calvin Johnson, wide receiver with the Detroit Lions from 2007-15
  • Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2011 and Denver Broncos from 2012-15
  • Bill Nunn, senior scout and assistant director of player personnel with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1968-2014
  • Drew Pearson, wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys from 1973-1983
  • Charles Woodson, cornerback/safety with the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2005 and 2013-15, and Green Bay Packers from 2006-2012.

Information from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was used in this report.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
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