Since becoming an NFL franchise in 1976 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had their issues with getting players who can consistently make an impact. When the team drafted Warren Sapp with the 12th overall pick in the 1995 NFL draft they would finally find a game-changer.
With a 229-350-1 record the Buccaneers usually don’t have to much to cheer for but, when Sapp was on the team he made the entire state of Florida stop and stare. Sapp already has his #99 retired and received an even bigger honor on Saturday when he was inducted into the Pro-Football Hall-of-Fame.
He became the first of four Buccaneer Hall-of-Famers to be inducted on their first-ballot.
The only reasonable competition that Sapp has is Lee Roy Selmon whose #63 is retired by the club and was a seven time Pro-Bowler along with being the 1979 Defensive player of the year. Sapp was awarded Defensive player of the year honors in 1999 and helped to bring the team their only Super Bowl victory in 2002.
Not too mention Sapp leads all Defensive Tackles with 100 career sacks (including playoffs) and leads all Buccaneers with 77 sacks while with Tampa Bay.
Off-the-field issues may cloud Sapp’s legacy but, their was not a more fearful DT than him in his heyday. In nine seasons with the Bucs Sapp left his mark as the best defensive player to ever play in Tampa Bay.
As the Buccaneers continue on in 2013 they can only hope that they can strike gold yet again with the 13th overall pick this Spring.