On Tuesday the NFL announced 2018’s hall of fame semifinalists, and three Buccaneers made the cut.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not very well represented in Canton, Ohio. In their team history they have just three players with significant team tenure to make the Hall: Lee Roy Selmon, Derrick Brooks, and Warren Sapp. With the 2018 class there is hope that the Bucs can add to that list. Cornerback Ronde Barber, safety John Lynch, and defensive end Simeon Rice were three of 27 semifinalists named by the NFL.
Those 27 semifinalists began as 108 nominees, and will be cut down further to fifteen in January. Then, in February, the finalists will be announced. Lynch is the only Buccaneer to have previously made the list of semifinalists, with Barber and Rice both being first timers. All three face an up-hill climb thanks to the small stage of Tampa Bay, but it’s encouraging to know that the voters haven’t forgotten about the lowly Bucs.
Though it likely won’t be this year, there’s long term hope for all three to make the Hall, as each have decorated resumes to boast. Barber had a tremendously long career and broke several records at his position; Lynch was a highlight reel and household name for his hard hitting; Rice had 122 career sacks and five seasons with double digit sacks for the Buccaneers. From a talent perspective there are few players more worthy than these three, and they all made positive impacts on the Tampa Bay community. This is Rice’s first time reaching this stage in the voting process, which is major progress for the man who has been campaigning for the recognition he deserves.
So, Bucs fans, which of the three semifinalists do you see making the cut? Did they forget about any other eligible Buccaneer great? Sound off in the comments below!