Best Buccaneers player during each US presidency

President Joe Biden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
President Joe Biden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /
6 of 10
Hardy Nickerson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Michael J. Minardi/Getty Images) /

Best Buccaneers player during the Clinton Administration – Hardy Nickerson (LB)

The last one was rough, and this one was tough. The Clinton Administration came during a time when things were finally starting to turn around for the Buccaneers, due in large part to the arrival of Tony Dungy, and a historically great defense.

In what might be a controversial call to some, Hardy Nickerson gets the nod over Warren Sapp as the best Bucs player during this presidency.

The Buccaneers brought in Nickerson during the first year of true free agency as we know it today in 1993 after he spent six years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

All Nickerson did in Tampa was record nine sacks, 13 forced fumbles with nine recoveries, seven interceptions, and over 900 unofficial tackles in six years. Nickerson was also a five-time Pro Bowler while being voted first-team All-Pro in 1993 and 1997, and second-team in 1996 and 1999. The Pro Football Hall of Fame even voted him as a second-team member of the All-1990s Team, which makes one wonder if his time will come to one day be enshrined in Canton. Nickerson was also one of the first leaders of Dungy’s Buccaneers defenses that would become legendary.

If you listen closely, you can still hear the chants of his name echoing through the stands of Raymond James Stadium with flashbacks of this criminally underrated linebacker flexing along to the tune of those chants to this day.

Sapp easily could have been the choice here, given that he and Nickerson have the same amount of first-team All-Pro selections during the presidency and Sapp was the 1999 Defensive Player of the Year. However, Nickerson had one more Pro Bowl nod during this time. Also, Nickerson maintained his greatness through just about the entire administration. He was basically the 1990s defensive version of Doug Williams for what he meant to the growth of the franchise.