Tight End Jimmie Giles will be the next member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Ring of Honor, according to Rick Stroud. Giles is absolutely deserving of this honor, having made 4 Pro Bowls in 9 seasons as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Giles joined the league as a third-round draft pick with the Houston Oilers, but the Buccaneers traded for him by swapping first round picks in 1978. He would go on to be an absolute star for the Bucs, and the best tight end in franchise history.
Despite the Bucs' poor play in his years as a Buccaneer, Giles was a productive player throughout his career. He is currently the third-ranked receiver in Buccaneer history, with 4,300 career receiving yards. In addition, he's the career leader in touchdown receptions with 34 and one of only two Bucs offensive players to make it to more than three Pro Bowls, the other player being Mike Alstott. And Jimmie Giles did all that in an era when tight ends were just a small part of the offensive scheme. He also played on mostly terrible offenses, with Doug Williams being the only competent quarterback to throw him a ball throughout his career as a Buccaneer. That Doug Williams has always been a big supporter of Giles, claiming that he is as Hall of Fame worthy as Ozzie Newsome.
Recently, Jimmie Giles has been struggling with the league's pension plan to earn adequate benefits and qualify for the disability plan. He suffers from short-term memory loss, struggles to walk and is disabled by anyone's definition. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to get the NFL's pension plan to pony up for retired players. His enshrinement is a testament to the need to do more for the players who built the game, which is why that is a major point of the current CBA negotiations. But more than anything, his enshrinement in the Ring of Honor will be a tribute to the best tight end to ever play for the Bucs.
If you want to see some footage of Jimmie Giles playing, head on over to BucPower.com