Most Bucs fans would agree John Lynch deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and if there’s ever a perfect time to begin making the case for next January, that time is now.
On Tuesday, the Denver Broncos announced their 2016 Ring of Honor inductees, and among the class of three was Lynch. The rest of the honorees include longtime kicker and franchise points leader Jason Elam and sack leader Simon Fletcher.
For Lynch, who was inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor in January and will see his name and No. 47 unveiled at Raymond James Stadium during halftime of a game next season, this puts him in an elite class in the NFL. He’ll join such names as Reggie White, Charles Haley and Doug Williams, among few others, as NFL legends that have been inducted into multiple teams Ring of Honors.
Though Lynch played just four seasons in Denver (2004-2007), he earned a Pro Bowl nod all four years and anchored a defense that came one game short of the Super Bowl in 2005. As a Bronco, he recorded 268 tackles, three interceptions and a particularly impressive mark of nine forced fumbles while starting 60 of 64 games.
So while his stay in Denver may not have been long, the hard-hitting safety made enough of an impact to be considered one of the organization’s greatest players.
Broncos President & CEO John Ellis hopes this induction paves the way for the greatest honor a player can receive.
“I think you take not only what kind of player he is, but what kind of person he is, what kind of leader he has been for two franchises – I think if you sum that up, if I were a (Pro Football) Hall of Fame voter – I would probably take that into consideration,” Ellis said.
“From our standpoint here at the Broncos, we would like to see him get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I think that’s kind of the next step for him – it should be anyway.”
Lynch, for his part, said the Ring of Honor was something he hoped he could join one day in Denver, but admittedly didn’t think he had enough time to leave a mark. He was wrong, and just three months after learning his name would be unveiled beside the likes of LeRoy Selmon, Derrick Brooks and six other all-time Buccaneer greats, Lynch will now also see his name next to John Elway, Terrell Davis and 29 more at Sports Authority Field in 2016.
“Pretty nice surprise and even more special considering I had found out earlier this year that I’m going in the Buccaneer Ring of Honor,” Lynch said. “They were four impactful and meaningful years, not only for me on the field – kind of coming back in the second stage of my career after neck surgery and proving to myself and everyone that I still had some left in me – but also for our family. It became our home for a long, long time and a very big part of our lives.”
Lynch realizes the magnitude of his duel-Ring of Honor accomplishment, and is humbled by the recognition by both franchises.
“I remember the feeling leaving Tampa, thinking we can’t ever recreate this,” Lynch said. “We had such a special thing in Tampa, and fortunately I was able to win one Super Bowl in Tampa, but that was my aspiration and I know a lot of my teammates’—[CB] Champ [Bailey] in particular—when we came to Denver, that was our mindset: Let’s go win one.
“Unfortunately for (owner Pat Bowlen), and for everyone, we weren’t able to do that, but we came very close and you try to leave your career without regrets… It really is a tremendous honor and I think even more so because it was only four years here in Denver.
“That’s really special and for a guy, who in his first couple years in the league, was probably one of the last guys to make a roster and hung on and then things started turning around. Like you said, to do it for two teams, to be recognized like that, I wish I could verbalize it better, but it’s just really cool and it’s a great honor.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 yrs of good not great play gets ring of honor? Ok Denver whatever you say
Letting Lynch walk when he was willing to take a pay cut to stay with team is one of the biggest mistakes this franchise ever made, Jermaine Phillips his heir apparent couldn’t stay healthy breaking his forearms over and over again trying to lay people out, it was the start of the downward spiral for this franchise
Got to again agree with jongruden; but i believe he did make All Pro 2-3 times while at Denver. I hope these two Ring of Honor’s sends a message to the HOF Committee to let Lynch into the HOF. he need to go in as a Buc and as a Bronco.
In the pro football HOF, players don’t go in with a team. That’s only baseball.
I really hate agreeing with you jongruden, but you are right.
Another in a series of blunders by Allen/Gruden when it came to personnel.
Lynch should have made it into the HOF last year as well instead of Dungy.
if winning one SB gets you into the Hall, should we expect Gruden next year. Everyone knows the real reason why Dungy was elected and it’s almost an insult for the players who were up for the deserved honor.
Sortswriters vote for the Hall and unfortunately a large majority of them are jackals with limited intelligence.
Or as I believe Norm Van Bronklin once said, “if I ever need a brain transplant I will get one from a sportswriter because it’s never been used.”
Preset company from PR excluded of course.
not really my place to tell Denver what to do with their Ring of Honor…but this is just weird…
Is Oakland going to put Sapp in their next?
Maybe we can get Denver sportswriters to lobby for Lynch since Ira Kauffman can’t present him anymore until he gets a newspaper gig.
I’m no big fan of Kaufman’s, but his ho hum pedestrian writing style was still better than Martin Fennelly’s arrogant style who appears to have landed at the Times.
Fennelly writes with an arrogant manner that makes u think he is doing you a favor just by letting you read something he wrote.
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