Two former Buccaneers, Ronde Barber and John Lynch, have been named as semifinalists for the 2021 NFL Hall of Fame class.
While 130 former players were named as possible Hall of Fame candidates in September, the number has been whittled down to just 25, two of which come from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ historic, Super Bowl-winning defense.
Lynch has been a semifinalist for the past nine years, while Barber has been a semifinalist for the past four, and both players have reached the semifinal stage in each year of their respective eligibility.
Barber’s selection comes off of a 16-year career in Tampa Bay where he played all 16 games in every season with the exception of 1997, his rookie year. In that time Barber racked up 47 interceptions, 28 sacks and 15 forced fumbles, becoming the only player in NFL history to accrue more than 25 sacks and more than 40 interceptions in a career. His 14 defensive touchdowns gives Barber the fourth-most non-offensive touchdowns in NFL history, trailing only Devin Hester, Deion Sanders and Ron Woodson, with Sanders and Woodson already in possession of the elusive gold jacket.
Barber was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All Pro.
While Lynch finished his career with the Denver Broncos, the safety spent the first 11 of his 14 years in the NFL with Tampa Bay. Over the span of his career, Lynch hauled in 26 interceptions, forced 16 fumbles and tacked on 13 sacks while eclipsing 1000 total tackles.
Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All Pro.
The 25-man list will eventually cut down to 15 before the league’s Hall of Fame Voting Committee is tasked with deciding which players, up to five in total, will be enshrined in Canton as part the 2021 Hall of Fame class.