When the NFL kicks off its 104th season this September, there will be five Tampa Bay Buccaneers players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Only four had busts in Canton before the next Hall of Fame class was announced at this year’s NFL Honors, but Rondé Barber made it five. In what was a pretty cool moment for Bucs fans, Derrick Brooks announced Barber as the 363rd player in NFL history to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
Brooks is already in Canton, along with fellow teammates Warren Sapp and John Lynch.
It was a long wait for Barber to finally join the hallowed halls of Canton, and it was a long wait for Buccaneers fans to start hearing iconic names in franchise history get announced as Hall of Famers.
The question now is how long will fans have to wait until to see another Buccaneers legend elected?
Buccaneers player most likely to get into Pro Football Hall of Fame next
It could be a while before we see another Buccaneers player inducted into Canton. Among the guys who made Tampa Bay’s defense so iconic in the late 90s and early 2000s, Barber was the last key member not yet in the Hall of Fame.
Sapp, Brooks, and Lynch have all been elected to the Hall of Fame, as well as head coach Tony Dungy. There could be a case made for Mike Alstott or Monte Kiffin to make it to Canton by way of the senior committee but the list of Buccaneers players from that era without a bust is not long.
Next up will likely be players who are currently active for Tampa Bay.
Mike Evans and Lavonte David instantly jump out as prime Hall of Fame candidates when they become eligible. Gerald McCoy will become eligible for election in 2027, but he has a much harder case to make without his success on the field being combined with success by the team.
Both Tom Brady is a lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famers when they become eligible, although they’ll be best remembered for their careers in New England rather than Tampa bay.
Chris Godwin has some work to do but he could put himself in the conversation based on how the rest of his career goes. The same can be said for Antoine Winfield Jr., and Tristan Wirfs, both of whom are arguably on Hall of Fame trajectories.
It will be a long wait, however, for another Buccaneers player to be inducted once Barber gets his bust this August. Fans in Tampa Bay had to wait until 1995 to watch the first Bucs player get inducted, but four more have followed Lee Roy Selmon in the ensuing quarter-century.
There will be more, it’s just a matter of who and when.