The 2012 NFL Hall of Fame class has just been announced, and it will consist of Pittsbrugh Steelers center Dermontti Dawson, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Jack Butler, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chris Doleman, Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, New England Patriots and New York Jets running back Curtis Martin and New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Willie Roaf.
This isn't exactly the strongest class, but it was very heavily focused on linemen on both sides of the ball. The Bucs' only inductee in the Hall is a defensive lineman as well: Lee Roy Selmon. He could realistically be joined by two players next year, when both Warren Sapp and John Lynch are eligible. While Mike Alstott is eligible too, he is very unlikely to get in to the Hall of Fame.
But the lineman-heavy selection this year bodes well for Warren Sapp next year, whose only real obstacle to getting into the Hall of Fame may be his rough handling of the media during his playing days. But based on his record as a player, he should see a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction next year. Especially so because issues like character and handling of the media don't officially impact the decisions of the Hall of Fame voters.