A lot of times, football players bounce from team to team, especially in the salary cap era. As such, even some of the game’s greats will land in a spot they aren’t familiar with at the tail-end of their careers. Here are the Hall of Fame nominees that spent a little time in Tampa Bay that perhaps you’ve forgotten about.
Logan Mankins – G (2014 – 2015)
It’s honestly crazy that arguably the best offensive lineman Tom Brady ever had never won a Super Bowl. From 2005 to 2013, Logan Mankins was the leader of Brady’s New England Patriots offensive lines but was 0-2 on Super Sunday. His first year in Tampa Bay was 2014, the year Brady won his first Super Bowl in a decade so he just missed the boat. Mankins was a solid starter his two seasons in Tampa Bay but is often forgotten since it came during the transition of the Lovie Smith to Dirk Koetter eras.
Jeff Garcia – QB (2007 – 2008)
Jeff Garcia had a pretty wild career. The Buccaneers have had a pretty wild history when it comes to quarterbacks. It’s only fitting that Garcia was a Pro Bowler in 2007, lead the Buccaneers to a playoff birth that same season, in what proved to be the last great season of his career, and Jon Gruden’s as coach of the Bucs. It was also the last season the Buccaneers would make the playoffs until their Super Bowl championship season of 2020.
Dallas Clark – TE (2012)
Dallas Clark is best remembered for being Peyton Manning’s security blanket, and a phenomenal tight end during the 2000s. He was also the starting tight end for the 2012 Bucs, aka the most entertaining 7-9 team maybe ever.
Reggie Roby – P (1995)
Now that Ray Guy is in the Hall of Fame after waiting seemingly forever, any other punter would be hard-pressed to find their way to Canton. Reggie Roby was solid over a long career though and spent the 1995 season in Tamp Bay, which would be right before fortunes would turn.
Sean Landeta – P (1997)
Another punter? Yes, because punters are people too. This punter also had a career that started with losing to the Super Bowl Shufflin’ 1985 Chicago Bears in the playoffs and ended the season when his teammate Terrell Owens was doing situps in his driveway. Let that sink in. Sean Landeta’s career-long 74-yard punt did come in his lone season in Tampa Bay, so there’s also that.
Lorenzo Neal – FB (1998)
Two punters and two fullbacks. What a world the NFL used to be. Lorenzo Neal is best known for being a part of the Music City Miracle and paving the way for backs like Eddie George, Corey Dillon, and most famously, LaDainian Tomlinson. His one year in Tampa Bay was more of a reserve role to the aforementioned Alstott, but he did help lead-block for Warrick Dunn on several occasions.
So there you have it. The ten former Buccaneers nominated for enshrinement for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2022. As previously stated, the players who spent the most time in Tampa Bay have the best shot at getting in. If we had to guess, either Barber or Rice have the best shot, but we’ll give the edge to Barber if we had to pick one. As the selection process goes on throughout the season, we’ll monitor which Bucs look to be closer to getting that call to the Hall.