Former Buccaneers great Warren Sapp has made the final cut for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The final list of inductees will be announced on February 2, one day before the Super Bowl.
In the Buccaneers 36 year history, the franchise has just one bust that graces the halls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton – by next summer that may be changing.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Friday that former Buccaneer great Warren Sapp was one of 17 former players or coaches that will be voted on the day before the Super Bowl February 2 in New Orleans and if he is elected will join Buccaneers great Lee Roy Selmon as Tampa Bay players who are enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
The 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 127 nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 27 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process. The selection committee will meet in New Orleans, La. on Saturday, February 2, 2013, to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. The election results will be announced at 5:30 p.m. ET (4:30 local time) during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center.
Sapp was selected in first round (12th player overall) by Tampa Bay in 1996 and was named to All-Rookie Team. During his career Sapp amassed 96.5 career sacks despite playing on interior of defensive line and recorded double-digit sack totals four times. Sapp was named 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping lead Tampa Bay to first division title in 18 years. Sapp also recorded career-high 16.5 sacks and was a first-team All-Pro four straight times (1999-2002. The former Hurricane star selected to seven Pro Bowls and was named to NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1990s, 2000s.
The Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman, who is the Tampa Bay representative for the Pro Football Writers and will argue Sapp’s case, thinks Sapp has a good shot.
“I am looking forward to making the case for Warren Sapp as a first ballot Hall-of-Famer,” Kaufman said. “I feel I have more than enough ammunition to attract enough votes despite a very impressive field of candidates.”
Former Bucs safety John Lynch didn’t make the final cut of 15 after getting to the previous cutoff of 27 players.
The 2013 of finalists:
Eddie DeBartalo Jr.
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