The 2020 Case For John Lynch

January 30th, 2020

Ira with his good friend and Bill Currie Ford general manager Sean Sullivan. Ask for Sean at Bill Currie Ford. He will help you personally and give you a special JoeBucsFan discount. Click through above to shop now.

Another fresh column from The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports, Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter.


John Lynch arrived in Miami with a 7-year itch.

Who could blame him?

The Buc icon and architect of the NFC champion 49ers is back among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It could be quite a weekend for a dominant safety who has been inducted into the Ring of Honor for two NFL franchises.

I’ll be making another presentation on Lynch’s behalf in the meeting room Saturday, marking his seventh consecutive year as a finalist.

Given that fellow safety Troy Polamalu is the only first-year eligible candidate likely to make the class of 2020, Lynch has a decent chance to join four other modern-day players in Canton.

Will Hall of Fame voters like Peter King finally be swayed enough to vote for John Lynch?

My plan is to make a 7-minute speech highlighting Lynch’s qualifications, hopefully followed by some supporting remarks among the other 47 selectors. Lynch’s frustration is certainly understandable — he is the only player from the 2014 and 2015 group of finalists still awaiting a gold jacket.

The history of this process tells you that Lynch should unquestionably join Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks as a Hall of Famer. Since the 1970 merger, every defensive player who has been a finalist for at least seven consecutive years has a bust in Canton.

With Lynch, the question isn’t if … it’s when.

Multiple Spotlights

The timing couldn’t be better, with the 49ers facing the Chiefs in the Super Bowl a day after the Hall of Fame announcement.

Some fellow selectors have suggested Lynch was only ordinary in pass coverage, pointing to his 26 interceptions in 15 seasons. Let’s remember that 14 of those picks came in the fourth quarter and let’s not forget the expansive role Lynch was asked to play in the Tampa 2.

Tony Dungy says Lynch had the most responsibility of any player in that defense, including Brooks and Sapp. He was a fourth linebacker who could also drop back and effectively cover half the field.

There might be a few selectors hesitant to vote for a third member of that unrelenting Tampa Bay defense because the Bucs won only one championship.

Shame on you.

From 1997 until 2006, Lynch was an essential component on Top 10 scoring defenses  (fewest points allowed) — every season. That’s a golden decade few players in NFL history can match, a remarkable span that includes his first three years in Denver with a different defensive scheme and different teammates.

Stiff Competition

Even before I depart for Miami, I can sense momentum behind Lynch’s candidacy this year. But given six disappointing outcomes in the past, there’s no reason to feel overconfident.

There are three other safeties among the finalists, with Polamalu, Steve Atwater and LeRoy Butler also up for consideration. Edgerrin James and Isaac Bruce have been waiting their turn, along with three stellar offensive linemen — Steve Hutchinson, Tony Boselli and Alan Faneca.

A maximum of five modern-era nominees can be elected in any Hall of Fame class, so Lynch faces stiff competition once again. His case is compelling and it doesn’t hurt that Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw unequivocally endorsed Lynch as a Hall of Famer at the end of the NFC title game telecast.

As an organization, the Bucs have aggressively thrown their support behind Lynch, who would undoubtedly enter Canton amid a sea of pewter during his induction ceremony. The stars seem to be aligning in his favor at the moment, but Lynch is facing down some stars in that conference room.

He built the 49ers in his own image … tough, physical, dedicated and smart. According to the great Barry Sanders, John Lynch occupied a spot in your mind on the football field.

Let’s hope that same sentiment holds sway in a Miami Beach meeting room.

25 Responses to “The 2020 Case For John Lynch”

  1. Buczilla Says:

    As long as Peter King and his moronic cronies from the Northeast continue to corrupt the HOF process with their bias, our dudes won’t get a fair shake. Perfect example is Brian frigging Dawkins getting in before Lynch AND Barber. Barber has better safety stats than Dawkins and he was a corner! Those folks are probably still p!issed that Ronde put the Eagle’s d!cks in the dirt the the NFC championship.

    Sorry for the rant but those “holier than thou” fools like Peter King make my skin crawl. 😉

  2. Dean Bucs fan for life!!! Says:

    47 HOF voters for number 47! How appropriate for John Lynch to compete for a Super Bowl championship as GM, receive election into the PFBHOF, and do it ALL in the city where he made history throwing out the very first pitch for the Marlins!!! The time has come to recognize John Lynch’s place in Canton for what he is;a Hall of fame person; a Hall of fame player!!! An immortal player!!! I’m rooting for you!!! Good luck, John!!!

  3. Says:

    Here’s hoping you make the case… But you should bring Sapp along to twist some arms at voting time!

  4. I hope he doesn’t get in Says:

    I hope the traitor/imposter/ dirty player NEVER makes the hall! If this joker played today he would be indefinitely suspended do to his illegal dirty hits. I hope the 9rs ars blown away in the Super Bowl.

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    there is no case for 47… he’s done a great job with 9ers but like dungy the clown and ronde they simply were not good enough. the hall used to be for the best of the best not one year fluke champions who choked in the post season year in and year out….. 5 career post season wins and 1 fluke championship because head coach knew raiders plays does not justify hall of fame. sapp and selmon only true hall of famers…. 55 was a coat tail rider who would have had the same career as cancer93 if he did not have sapp to carry his arse…. players like 55 need winners with a sack like sapp to carry him…. cancer93 had no sack nor anyone to carry him thus the unprecedented basement title streak… 55 and 93 same damn player career losers without a sapp to carry them.

  6. tmaxcon Says:

    small market irrelevant franchise should feel damn lucky they got sapp and selmon in… the other two feel good story charity cases are just a sign of the PC times.

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    if ronde and vinceyoung55 were so damn great how come they could not win a single post season game after sapp left….. bucfan confuses popularity with greatness every damn minute of the day…. bucfan has rendered the words legend and great meaningless similar to the way sorry, racist, bigot and I promise have been rendered meaningless by politicians.

  8. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    I’m hoping Lynch gets in this weekend.

    I’m also happy for you Ira. You have a chance to see the Chiefs win a Super Bowl again. Although I’m rooting for Lynch and the 49ers, I’ll be happy for you if the Chiefs win. The ultimate experience for a football fan to see your team win it all.

    Have a great time Sage.

  9. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    John should ride the wave of Super Bowl hype, JUST like Brian Dawkins did when he got in the year the Pigeons went to the Super Bowl.

  10. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Great player here in Tampa but he is definitely not a HOF er; simeon rice or ronde barber should be in before john lynch. Lynch is thus far shown to be a great GM and maybe in the future he makes it as a GM, but the HOF has been letting in some that make you scratch your head. The fact dungy made it before jimmy johnson is crazy.

  11. gofortheface30 Says:

    I know we want our guys to get in and all, but Sanders got it right – Technically it was Skip Bayless that coined the term YEARS ago when he suggested it was becoming the hall of very good. This is getitng ridiculous, if we have to sit here and think about it and debate, then there is your damn answer.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    JL is a HOFer…no question….

    he’ll win the SB this year…..get in next year….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  13. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    If you saw him play you know he’s a HOF player. These negative comments come from idiots that need a diaper change. Winning the Super Bowl on Madden does not make you a genius football historian. Morons.

  14. rrsrq Says:

    I think John just might get in. I just don’t get or understand why championships matter when you make an incredible impact on the position you play, #47 did that. That being said, credibility of the voters I find biased and shaky, Rondre’s stats are almost unprecedented and impact as a nickel corner and I still don’t know why Ken Riley, 3rd most interceptions in the history of the league, that was done when teams were not passing up and down the field. I only bring it up because he lives in Lakeland, though he played for the championship-less Bengals



    John Lynch is a HOF person, a great teammate, probably a great father, husband, son and grandson.

    Having said that John was not a great player. He was very good but not elite. No where near Ed Reed. Not in the same area code. Thats what a HOFer looks like. John could hit but John was less then average in his coverage skills. He meant alot to our superbowl win and to the teams success. That doesnt make you a HOFer. It’s about being the best of the best and in his era he wasnt even top 5 at his position.

    Wonderful person, great teammate, very good player. That’s where the story ends.

  16. Red Skeleton Says:

    Just have them watch the HBO special on the Buc’s Superbowl. He not only played well enough in the big game to be an MVP candidate, he coached the players around him to be in the same conversation. Ask Dexter Jackson if he gets the MVP without Lynch in his ear!!

  17. Swampbuc Says:

    Go get them Ira! Get -er- done! And right on Red Skeleton (chuckling at the handle).

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Some of y’all r idiots, crappy so called buc fans that don’t know what ur talking about. U definitely didn’t see the games from that era n if u did u must be blind as a bat n dumb as a mule. That defense was the best of that era n one of the best ever. Top 5 ever probably too 3 ever

  19. RTG Bucs Says:

    Two things.

    First, in my opinion, one of the reasons that Lynch deserves it is that he worked his butt off to become a great player. He wasn’t anything special when he arrived in Tampa but worked himself into the starting role and the dominant player that he became. I admire hard work!

    Second, I truly believe that Tmax needs to call his grandmother as he surely needs another grape soda!

  20. westernbuc Says:

    Peter King is the type of guy that will complain about someone being a system player and then happily trip over himself to vote for Richard Sherman.

    It’s obvious he doesn’t even like football anymore. When he’s not freaking out over head injuries, he’s doing his best to be woke in his columns, breathlessly explaining why the president is evil.

    Last year at the combine he complained that Indianapolis sorts bars were playing 80s music and was wondering why they didn’t play Iggy Azalea. This is a grown man that would rather listen to 14 year old girl music than Van Halen. And he’s a voter.

  21. jerseybuc Says:

    You can feel the momentum swinging, this is Lynch’s time. More than deserving, he was the sheriff of that decade best D from the late 90s to the early 2000s.
    And buczilla, the Northeast is corrupting the HOF process? I mean really? The civil war is over. Big market teams and media dominate the game, that is just how it goes.

  22. FortMyersDave Says:

    It seems like it is Lynch’s time. What he has going for him is that his name has been bantered about for the past 2 weeks via the Niners getting to Miami which as Lee and Ira pointed out in their early week podcast; should be irrelevant as it does not correlate to his playing career but it probably will just like TV exposure on CBS and FOX helped John Madden. I personally hope Ira gets it done but we have been disappointed before and its obviously ****ing hard to get enough votes to get one of the 5 golden tickets. Good luck Ira.

  23. tmaxcon Says:

    Rtg i watched evey damn game dungy the clown wasted Sapp with his inability to understand and accept the game of football had 3 phases. Brooks was an undersized physical weak and quit possibly the least intelligent lb in nfl history. Bucs win zero playoff games with Dungy and brooks… sapp overcompensated for those popular but weak individuals…

  24. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    John Lynch deserves to be in. Barber next and Rice after that. Five guys on those great Bucs defenses are HOFers.

  25. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Anonymous – you grossly invalidate your position with your spaced out, galaxies brained short hand writing and bad grammar. In fact, it’s reasonable to assume that if you’re not even intelligent enough to handle the most basic of tasks (like write sentences…) then how can you be competent enough to have a cogent opinion on what hall of fame level play looks like for a safety?

    And look at some of these other hardos on here, a person doesnt agree that Lynch was a hall of famer and it’s: “oh herrr derrrr deee dee, you must not have watched him play, durrrrrrrrr” like it’s an affront to your sensibilities or something. Let me ask you oh so objective fans something – was John Lynch, at any point THE very best safety or defensive back in the league? Did he do anything to redefine the position? Can he single handily take over a game? Was he ever the best player on his own defense? It takes two seconds to answer all of these questions and I’ll answer for you: no, no, no annnnd no. But go ahead and blame it on east coast bias, a conspiracy against the Bucs or whatever other moronic thing you guys have cooked up in that soupy brain of yours