The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have three representatives among the initial list of 108 nominees for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame. Head coach Tony Dungy, safety John Lynch and defensive end Simeon Rice,
Both Lynch and Dungy made it to the final round of 15 finalists last year, but weren't voted into the Hall of Fame. Lynch has been trying and failing to get in since 2012, while Dungy was in his first year of eligibility. Dungy has a decent chance of making it in this year, having won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts, breaking barriers for African-American coaches in the NFL and of course, leading the Bucs back to relevance after nearly two decades of failure, paving the way for their 2003 Super Bowl win.
Lynch and Rice will have a tougher case to make for the Hall of Fame. While both were outstanding players in their day, they weren't quite the game-changing legends you usually see in the NFL. Lynch has a slightly better case than Rice, who didn't have the same kind of longevity -- though at his peak, Rice's impact on the game may have been even greater.
The Hall of Fame will now cut to a list of 25 semifinalists in November, and then 15 finalists in January before deciding on the five modern-day nominees who will make it into the Hall of Fame. They'll potentially be joined by senior candidates Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel as well as contributor Edward DeBartolo Jr. -- the Hall of Fame members will have to vote yes or no on their inclusion, although that's mostly been a formality in the past.