John Lynch Hall of Fame Profile: 2021 Inductee

After being nominated eight times as an NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, John Lynch has finally been inducted and will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this summer.

John Lynch was nominated for the Hall of Fame for the eighth time in 2021

While current San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch says it is an honor to be nominated, you would have to think he was getting tired of making that statement. 

Having played for two different organizations and now the GM of a third, Lynch has done it all in the NFL. Well, everything but be a head coach or wear a gold jacket. Despite being in the Ring of Honor for both the Buccaneers and Broncos, Lynch has been passed over seven times. From a historical perspective, few can top that number. 

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Since January of 2014, Hall of Fame voters have looked at John Lynch’s career in every way possible. And every time, they’ve found one way or another to exclude him from the final decision. However, Lynch is not the only player to have seen his process drug out. 

Of the 15 players who have been a Hall of Fame finalist eight or more times, all but two have been enshrined. One is former Miami Dolphins G Bob Kuechenberg — the other is John Lynch. But now, that will change as he is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Lynch built his Hall of Fame résumé patrolling the secondary in Tampa Bay

While he was able to play coverage, that is not what made Lynch’s career. John Lynch will go down in the history book as one of the hardest hitting, most feared safeties of all time. Lynch dominated for the Buccaneers, where he spent 11 years of his career.

While with Tampa Bay, Lynch played in 224 games, starting in 191 of them from 1993 to 2003. He accumulated 1,059 tackles (727 solo), 28 tackles for a loss, 16 forced fumbles, 68 passes deflected, and 26 interceptions. 

He was a starter and a leader on a Buccaneers defense ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in each of his last seven years with the team. Lynch was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, two-time first-team All-Pro, two-time second-team All-Pro. During the 2002 season, he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

The 2002 Buccaneers defense goes down as one of the best to ever play the game. They led the NFL in total defense (252.8 yards per game), pass defense (155.6 yards per game), points allowed (12.3 points per game), passing touchdowns allowed (10), interceptions (31), and opponent passer rating (48.4).

John Lynch’s success continued in Denver

While his career in Tampa Bay would have been enough to get Hall of Fame notice, Lynch never slowed down.

Lynch played for the Broncos for four seasons (2004-2007). In that time, he played in 60 games, starting in 59. He recorded 788 tackles (528 solo), had 19 tackles for a loss, six sacks, seven forced fumbles, 42 passes deflected, and 23 interceptions. 

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He was nominated to the Pro Bowl every season with the team and received the Bart Starr Award in 2007. The award is given annually to the player who “best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.”

Four Pro Bowls for two different franchises puts Lynch in a group of just seven players — five of them are in the Hall of Fame already, and one is fellow 2021 inductee Charles Woodson.

As a nine-time Pro Bowler, Lynch is a part of a select few to play the position. Only Ken Houston (10) has more selections. Lynch is tied with Brian Dawkins and Ed Reed for second all-time. Lynch and Woodson join the other 15 safeties with eight or more Pro Bowl selections into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Tommy Garrett is a writer for Pro Football Network covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.


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