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Will John Lynch ever make it into the Hall of Fame?

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John Lynch made it to the top 15 candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third year in a row, and didn't manage to make it into the group of actual inductees yet again. But he did get farther than he usually does, and Hall of Fame voter Clark Judge explains what went on inside the room and how his chances look going forward.

Safety John Lynch made it to a 10-count for the first time, too, and that's a big step. A three-time finalist, he's never been able to make it this far ... until now. With safeties Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu on the way in the not-so-distant future, Lynch's candidacy better get legs fast, or he's going to fall by the wayside ... just like a raft of other pure safeties. You think I'm kidding? The Hall's last pure safety that played was Kenny Houston, and he retired after the 1980 season.

That does not bode well for Lynch's chances, especially given the fact that now three key people from the old Tampa 2 defense are in the Hall of Fame, and Ronde Barber's going to be eligible in a couple of years. As good as the old Bucs defense was, does it really deserve to have that many people in the Hall?

The Bucs spent a lot of the past year pushing Lynch's candidacy, announcing his induction into the Ring of Honor just last month and publishing an extended case for his Hall of Fame induction on their website. It didn't work, but it did get him farther than he's gone before.

The fact that all that effort went to waste yet again isn't particularly promising for Lynch, though. He may turn into the perennial just-outside-the-top candidate.