The 10 Greatest Tampa Bay Buccaneers of All Time

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are by no means one of the most successful teams in the NFL. From the franchise’s inception in 1976 until 2001, it won a mere three divisional titles and no Super Bowl championships to show for it. From 2002 onwards, it saw better success, winning two Super Bowls—its first in 2002 and its second in 2020. Ever since it conquered its first Super Bowl championship, the franchise has had some of the best players in its history, with a few notable exceptions that played in the franchise’s less successful period between 1976 and 2001. The Bucs have never been a superteam, but have had some decent teams throughout their short history.

Here are the ten greatest Buccaneers of all time.

The 10 Greatest Tampa Bay Buccaneers of All Time

1. Derrick Brooks

Widely considered the greatest Buccaneer of all time, linebacker Derrick Brooks‘ career spanned 14 years, all for Tampa Bay, in which he was a five-time first-team All-Pro, an eleven-time Pro Bowler, and won a Defensive Player of the Year award on the same season he led the Buccaneer secondary to its first-ever Super Bowl title, 2002. Additionally, he figures as the Buccaneers’ all-time leader in tackles and forced fumbles and is second all-time in games played for the team. His dominant field presence and excellent ability to read plays make him not only the best Buccaneer of all time but also one of the most dominant defensive players to ever play in the NFL.

2. Warren Sapp

Another member of the 2002 Super Bowl-winning team, defensive end Warren Sapp finished his 13-year career with seven Pro Bowl selections, four first-team All-Pro selections, and a Defensive Player of the Year award in 1999. He left to go to the Oakland Raiders in 2004, but didn’t have nearly as much success as he did in Tampa Bay. His commanding presence on the defensive line earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the number two spot in the Buccaneers’ all-time list.

3. Lee Roy Selmon

Defensive end Lee Roy Selmon was selected by the Buccaneers with their first-ever draft pick in 1976. Although he played during the team’s least successful period, he quickly made a name for himself as one of the best defensive players of his time by recording six Pro Bowl selections, one first-team All-Pro selection, and a Defensive Player of the Year award in 1979. His great success in the sport doesn’t end in the NFL though, as he was an accomplished college football player for the Oklahoma Sooners and the athletic director for the South Florida Bulls during the program’s most successful period, getting them as high as number two in the AP poll in 2007.

4. Ronde Barber

Continuing the trend of defensive players on the list, cornerback Ronde Barber comes in at number five. He had a long 16-year career in which he played for the Buccaneers in its entirety and was a member of the 2002 Super Bowl-winning secondary. As for personal accolades, he was a five-time Pro Bowler, a three-time first-team All-Pro, and the league leader in interceptions in 2001 with ten.

5. Mike Evans

The first offensive player and one of only two current Buccaneers players to make this list is wide receiver Mike Evans. So far in his ten-year career, he has earned himself five Pro Bowl selections and led the team’s offense during their Super Bowl run in 2020. Additionally, he hasn’t had a single season with under 1000 receiving yards since he made it to the league in 2014 and finished last season as the league leader in touchdown receptions with 14. It’s been a fruitful career for the wideout and there should be more to come as he enters the later stage of his career.

6. John Lynch

Most people know safety John Lynch as an intimidating, hard-hitting strong safety with an innate ability to read the game and a great charisma that made him a leader on and off the field. In 11 years as a Buccaneer, he was a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time first-team All-Pro.

7. Simeon Rice

Defensive end Simeon Rice claims the seventh spot on this list. In only six years with Tampa Bay, he was selected to two Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl in 2002. Additionally, he ranks second in the Buccaneers all-time sacks leaderboard with 69.5.

8. Lavonte David

The second current player to make the list, linebacker Lavonte David comes in as the eighth-best player in Buccaneers history. Although he’s only been named Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro once, his strong defensive presence and tackling ability helped the Bucs earn their second-ever Super Bowl title in 2020. Additionally, he’s the Buccaneers’ all-time leader in fumble recoveries and tackles for loss.

9. Tom Brady

You might know Tom Brady from his legendary 20-year career with the New England Patriots, in which he won six Super Bowls and came to be considered the greatest player to ever play the game of football. What most people fail to acknowledge is that his Buccaneer self was equally as good as his Patriot self and that he was one of the central pieces of the Bucs’ 2020 Super Bowl run. In just three years with the team, he won a championship, came in second in the MVP vote in 2021, and led the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns in that same year with 5316 and 43, respectively.

10. Mike Alstott

Fullback Mike Alstott‘s versatility is what really makes him stand out and earn the last spot on the list. Apart from his ability to break tackles and gain big chunks of yardage in a single play, he was also an exceptionally good receiver; he saw no less than 30 targets per season except for two. He was also a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time first-team All-Pro.

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