John Lynch’s Fight For Canton

February 4th, 2019

Still waiting.

Over the weekend, former Bucs and Broncos safety John Lynch failed again to collect the necessary votes to be immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It has become a sad February tradition which began in 2014. columnist Ira Kaufman, Tampa Bay’s Pro Hall of Fame voter, who was to present Lynch (again) could not attend the gathering in Atlanta on Saturday due to a family medical issue. Former Bucs beat writer Charean Williams, also a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector, presented Lynch on behalf of Kaufman. Williams offers up her view from “the room” of how Saturday’s selection process shook down.


When Ira Kaufman called early last week and asked me to present John Lynch in his stead, I was honored. I also was petrified.

Lynch, who I covered during his first six years with the Buccaneers, deserves to have a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In fact, he’s overdue as former teammates Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp reminded me last week.

For five years, Kaufman has made the same speech in a different way. We are running out of anything new to say about Lynch.

If it’s not obvious by now he’s worthy, I’m not sure what else will convince the 48 voters.

This year in his presentation, Kaufman tried to answer the disparity of interceptions between Ed Reed, a lock as a first-ballot nominee, and Lynch. Reed made 64 career interceptions; Lynch made 26. Although Lynch gets dinged for this, 14 of his interceptions came in the fourth quarter.

And there are no statistics to measure Lynch’s menacing presence in an era defined by intimidation over the middle. The hard-hitting safety created short arms and drops, which can’t be quantified for a roomful of media members in search of numbers for Hall validation.

The discussion on Lynch lasted just under 13 minutes, almost the exact time devoted to Steve Atwater’s candidacy.

This year, Lynch was one of three safeties and one of three defensive backs with Broncos’ ties on the ballot. Cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Ed Reed earned induction as did former Patriots cornerback Ty Law.

This may bode well for Lynch’s chances in the future.

First, selectors have not historically treated safeties with as much respect as they should. But four safeties, including two seniors, have earned induction in the past three classes.

Second, it gets three of the five defensive backs who were finalists this year off the ballot for next year, although Steelers safety Troy Polamalu joins the ballot.

The concern is that Atwater, who was in his 15th year of eligibility and second year as a finalist, jumped Lynch in the queue. Atwater made the cut from 15 to 10, and Lynch didn’t.

In 2014, we discussed 15 modern-era finalists. Five years later, 14 of the 15 have busts in Canton. John Lynch is the last man waiting. He’s become “next year’s Hall of Famer.”

So when is his year?

Let’s hope it is next year, but if not, the 2021 Super Bowl is in Tampa. What better place for Lynch to earn induction?

While Lynch likely is understandably frustrated with the process after seven years of eligibility, he will find it worth the wait. Once a Hall of Famer always a Hall of Famer.

You can follow Williams, who writes for, on Twitter @NFLCharean.

12 Responses to “John Lynch’s Fight For Canton”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    he’ll get in….he’s a true HOF…..


  2. tmaxcon Says:

    simply laughable….. lynch is not a hof….

  3. C2asante Says:

    He was an outstanding player and I think he deserves to be in, but he is not better than Ed Reed and the safeties that have been selected

  4. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    The hall of fame is letting in some question marks and lynch is a good player but ronde and simeon should be in before lynch. If Dungy was a better HC the bucs defense and team woulf be talked about in all time great defenses

  5. Todd Says:

    Lynch gets in the year Tampa hosts the Super Bowl. That’d be fitting.

  6. AllhailJPP Says:

    tmaxcon is “simply” the biggest douche on this site

  7. Robert Says:

    tmax not a douche, he just hate us cause he aint us

    I feel for him, and god forbid, any offspring

  8. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    The Hall of Very Good/Good Guy/Big Hitter(s) awaits. Solid effort, Ira…you can’t win them all.

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I’ve been trying to figure a way to address the TMAX phenomenon for a while. I feel sorry for him and I’m not big on name calling.

    You sir just nailed. Exactly! Well done Robert.

  10. Loyaltotheend Says:

    I’d be shocked if the Bucs get 3 players in from a d that only won 1 Lombardi

  11. jerseybuc Says:

    How many 85 Bear defenders are in the HOF? Now, in my mind that is still the best D for one season I ever witnessed, but they won one SB. I believe Lynch gets in, but Atwater and Troy are an issue next year. You can’t ding Lynch on not having numbers and then ignore Ronde, who had some very unique numbers.

  12. Says:

    we should be more pissed about Ronde Barber not even getting mentioned more than Lynch… he was a great player but the guys that are getting in before him were just as good if not better… gotta take off those pewter colored glasses