USA TODAY Sports
The Hall of Fame finalists class is out. 15 players remain, and one Buccaneer among them.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could see their second player added to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. The Hall has reduced its list of finalists to 15, and defensive tackle Warren Sapp is one of the remaining eligible players. He will compete with Larry Allen, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Ed Debartolo Jr., Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Art Modell, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Andre Reed, Dave Robinson, Will Shields, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.
Former Buccaneers safety John Lynch was among the list of 27 semi-finalists, but did not make the cut this time. The Hall of Famers will be announced on February 2, while the induction ceremony will kick off the 2013 NFL preseason on August 4.
Sapp's credentials are impressive, but he faces plenty of competition. There has been some speculation that his contentious relationship with the media will keep him out of the Hall, even though it shouldn't play a role. When judged just by his playing days, Sapp should be an obvious first-ballot selection.
The only Buccaneer currently in the Hall of Fame is the late, great Lee Roy Selmon. Steve Young and Randall McDaniel both played for the Bucs and have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but they barely featured in Tampa during their playing days. Wide receiver Tim Brown could join that group of barely-Buccaneers in the Hall of Fame this year.