Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 15 greatest pass rushers in franchise history

Warren Sapp, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
Warren Sapp, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) /
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Chidi Ahanotu, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Chidi Ahanotu, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyo) /

(1993-00, 2004). Chidi Ahanotu. 5. player. 48. . DE

Back in 1993, the Buccaneers felt confident enough in Chidi Ahanotu being a solid addition to the defense after the team finished with a disappointing 5-11 record the year before.

Even if Ahanotu wasn’t selected until the sixth round of the NFL Draft, keep in mind how many times before that Tampa Bay earned up with previous steals in the later rounds. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to see the defender turn out to be an absolute stud.

Eight years was the time Ahanotu spent with the Buccaneers from 1993 to 2000. Though the first couple of years certainly weren’t smooth sailing, but at least he made up for it later in the middle of his career.

Right when Ahanotu finally started to come up in a big way during the 1996 NFL season by recording 5.5 sacks, the defensive end elevated things to a whole new level the following by setting a career-high 10 sacks.

While Ahanotu’s numbers would have been higher if he wasn’t limited to four games in 1998, watching him record 25.5 of his 34.5 sack total with the Buccaneers during the final five years with the team shows how much he turned things around when it mattered the most.

Of course, it should also be noted that Ahanotu did return to Tampa Bay for a second stint with the team in 2004 for eight games in which 3.5 sacks of his 34.5 total came from. This shows that even near the end of his career, his level of play was still high.