The Top 5 Players in Tampa Bay Buccaneers History
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise made its NFL debut in 1976 and during their NFL tenure, they’ve won two Super Bowl championships. Here are the 5 best players in Buccaneers history; evaluated and ranked.
5. Mike Alstott, Full Back (1996-2007)
Mike Alstott is widely regarded as the one of the greatest fullbacks of all time during his 11-year career in Tampa Bay.
Alstott was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Buccaneers and immediately became a factor in the Buccaneers offense for his versatility and elite blocking. Alstott was named second-team all-pro in his rookie season in 1996. In his rookie season, he garnered 949 rush yards and 65 receptions.
Throughout his time in Tampa Bay, the former Purdue Boilermaker was a three-time first team all-pro (’97-’99), six-time pro bowler (’97-’02) and was a contributing member of the Buccaneers Super Bowl victory in 2002. Alstott currently holds the record for having the most rushing touchdowns in Tampa Bay history with 58.
4. Lee Roy Selmon, Defensive End (1976-1984)
Lee Roy Selmon is the first player drafted in Buccaneers history after going number one overall in the 1976 NFL draft out of Oklahoma.
Selmon had a dominate and prolific career as he established himself as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. During his tenure in Tampa Bay, Selmon was a three-time first team all-pro (’79, ’80, ’82), two-time second team all pro (’78, ’84), and won the 1979 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
Selmon finished his career in 1984 tallying 78.5 sacks along with six consecutive pro bowl selections (’79-’84).
3. Ronde Barber, Cornerback (1997-2012)
Ronde Barber spent 16 NFL seasons in Tampa Bay while carving out one of the most impactful careers in Buccaneers history.
Barber was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft out of the University of Virginia and went on to become one of the premier defensive backs in the league. The former Virginia Cavalier made five pro bowls (’01, ’04-’06, ’08), three first-team all pros (’01, ’04, ’05), two second-team all pros (’02, ’06) and was the 2001 NFL interceptions co-leader (’10).
Barber was a key piece in the Buccaneers defense that was ranked number one in total defense in route to a Super Bowl victory in 2002. The former Tampa Bay cornerback has 47 career interceptions and will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023.
2. Warren Sapp, Defensive Tackle (1995-2003)
Warren Sapp was a staple on the Tampa Bay defensive line in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Sapp was drafted in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft out of Miami and was the 1994 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Sapp solidified himself as one of the NFL’s prominent defensive players by winning the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. In 1999, Sapp tallied four forced fumbles, 12.5 sacks and 41 combined tackles. The former defensive lineman is a four-time first team all-pro (’97-’02), two-time second team all-pro (’97-’98) and a seven-time pro bowler (’97-’03).
Sapp finished his Tampa Bay career in 2003 by signing with the Oakland Raiders in 2004. The former Miami Hurricane was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and is the Buccaneers all-time sack leader with 77 sacks.
1. Derrick Brooks, Outside Linebacker (1995-2008)
Derrick Brooks is widely regarded as the greatest Buccaneer in franchise history due to his consistent level of play throughout his fourteen-year career.
Brooks during his career was a five-time first team all-pro (’99, ’00, ’02, ’04, ’05), four-time second team all-pro (’97, ’98, ’01, ’03), eleven-time pro bowler (’97-’06, ’08) and the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. In 2002, Brooks garnered 118 combined tackles along with five interceptions and scored four touchdowns including an interception returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVII.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame elected Brooks to their coveted group in 2016 after an elite-level playing career.