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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Case for former Bucs great John Lynch for Hall of Fame

Jamil King

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch won a Super Bowl, as a player, as a member of the all-time great 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense. Sunday he will be looking to win his second title. This time as the GM of the San Francisco 49ers.
Before the big game, however, Lynch will be hoping to achieve the highest honor in football: being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Since 2013 Lynch has had his name on the ballot and has not had his name called, this despite making it to the final stage (like the discussion/vote Saturday) now seven times in a row.

Of the 15 names on the 2020 ballot, no one has been on that list more than Lynch.

Lynch has accolades that run deep to bolster to his resume:

He was a nine-time Pro Bowl safety, a two-time first-team All-Pro, and a two-time second-team All-Pro.
Lynch also is a member of two different “Ring of honors” for the Buccaneers (above) and the Denver Broncos.

He also has a claim to something not everyone can say and that is he is a Super Bowl champion.
Many share the thought that the voters were waiting to see how he would do in his new GM role. If he failed at it, he wouldn’t make the Hall. If he succeeds, then that along with his numbers as a player, it would lock him in.

Well, Sunday his Niners will be playing in the Super Bowl. Lynch has built a championship contending roster for years to come inside of three years.

Lynch has shown what he could do as a player. His achievements speak for themselves.

What he has done after he hung up the cleats is also very impressive. He has shown he has one of the best football minds around.

He was a successful broadcaster for several years with Fox, and now on top of that, is one of the best executives in the league today.

Lynch checked the boxes as a player. What he’s done post-playing should put him over the top this year.

Now, we wait.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs will put former defensive coordinator Kiffin in Ring of Honor

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs are looking forward to their future with a second year under new coach Bruce Arians, but on Friday night, they reached back to their past to honor one of their top assistant coaches in franchise history. And. this fall they will put him in their “Ring of Honor.”

Monte Kiffin, who along with coach Tony Dungy were the architects of the Buccaneers “Tampa 2” defense will become the team’s 14th member of their Ring of Honor in the 2020 season:

The Buccaneers made the announcement Friday night as Kiffin was being honored by the organization, his former players, friends and family, as part of his 80th birthday celebration.

Kiffin who came with Dungy in 1996 to the Bucs and led the defense for 13 seasons, helped Tampa Bay’s defense become one of the youngest fastest and fiercest in all of the NFL in just a few short seasons.

Led by now Hall of Famers, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, plus Hall of Fame finalists John Lynch and Ronde Barber, the Bucs defense rose to the number one in the NFL in 1999 and again, in 2002. That season, led by new coach Jon Gruden in his first year and Kiffin’s defense, Tampa Bay won their first and only World Championship cementing Kiffin’s legacy.

Kiffin left the Bucs to go coach at the University of Tennessee, when his son Lane became the head coach for one season in 2009. He then left Knoxville after that season when Lane Kiffin took the USC  job. He has spent recent years, as a defensive coach/consultant with the Cowboys and also the Jaguars.

The last couple of seasons he had been with Lane Kiffin in an advisory role at Florida Atlantic.

The Bucs have put 13 previous former players, coaches and even owner Malcolm Glazer, in their Ring of Honor. And, that list includes Sapp, Brooks Lynch and Barber, who was inducted a year ago. Kiffin will be the first assistant coach to be honored. Previously, Gruden (2017) and Dungy (2018) have also both been put in as head coaches, with the architect of the original Buccaneers, John McKay also being inducted also back in 2010.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Should RT Jack Conklin be on Bucs free agent radar?

Florida Football Insiders

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As NFL teams continue to do their due diligence on not only their own potential free agents, but what others might be out there too, an interesting name has emerged that could give the Bucs, and other teams, some offensive line help.

It appears that the Titans, fresh off a tremendous playoff run into the AFC Championship game may be willing to part with former number 1 pick, starting right tackle Jack Conklin. And if they’re going to let the former Michigan State star test free agency, Tampa Bay may have a real interest.

First, the Bucs are looking at options on their line, as the senior member of their roster, right tackle Demar Dotson, who’s played his entire 11 year career in Tampa and will be 35 years old this fall, is slated to be a free agent, as well.

And while Dotson has been a mainstay over the course of the last decade on the Bucs offensive line, GM Jason lick and Coach Bruce Arians maybe looking to get younger and some better play out of that position.

Tennessee elected not to pick up Conklin’s fifth year option on his rookie deal and there are some concerns about his ability to pass block. However, there’s no doubting that with power back Derrick Henry, Conklin was part of the unit on offense that played “smash mouth football” throughout the postseason. And, they scored upsets of the Patriots and the Ravens in part behind their tough ground game before falling at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game.

Next, earlier this week, NFL.com’s reporter/writer Nick Shook, matched Conklin as a possible free agent fit with Tampa Bay, as free agency begins in March.

Conklin did suffer an ACL injury in his second season but is fully healed from that now, and he could be a very cost-effective option four teams looking to solidify their offensive line. Conklin made only $2.7 million in the final year of his initial four year deal with the team declining his $12.9 million option.

As for the Bucs, they already have massive money invested in center Ryan Jensen, guard Ali Marpet and left tackle Donovan Smith on their line, but at the same time, the Bucs also have close to $85 million under the cap once free agency begins.

Clearly, their top priorities are figuring out whether to bring back QB Jameis Winston (and at what price?) and also, how many free agent to be defensive linemen out of Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre Paul and Ndamukong Suh they can also fit under their cap.

Still, you cannot have enough good lineman, and perhaps grabbing the Titans former starter off a playoff team would improve their run game, which sputtered a lot of 2019.

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