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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers will induct Sapp into Ring of Honor

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Published:   |   Updated: May 2, 2013 at 03:09 PM
TAMPA -

The post-career honors are starting to pile up for defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

Not long after he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, Sapp will become the fifth member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor.

The team scheduled a news conference for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at One Buc Place to make the announcement.

Sapp will join defensive end Lee Roy Selmon (2009), inaugural coach John McKay (2010), tight end Jimmie Giles (2011) and left tackle Paul Gruber (2012) in the team's Ring of Honor.

“If you look around this league and see all those great names up in the stadiums in cities like Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota, the Ring of Honor is like the who's who of the who's who,” Sapp said. “Your name is up there right next to the Coca-Cola sign. Think about all the bowl games, the concerts, the monster truck shows at Raymond James … your name is always sitting there.''

The Bucs' first-round selection (12th overall) in the 1995 draft, Sapp played his first nine NFL seasons with Tampa Bay and came to define what is known as the under tackle or three-technique position.

In August, Sapp will join Selmon as the only Bucs players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A seven-time Pro Bowl and six-time All-Pro selection, Sapp recorded 96.5 career sacks, including a franchise-record 77 for the Bucs, and was a cog in a league-leading defense that set the pace for Tampa Bay's victory against the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Though that Super Bowl victory marked a watershed moment in Sapp's career, his best season might have been the 1999 campaign in which he recorded 12.5 sacks and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. In 2000, his 16.5 sacks broke Selmon's single-season team record.

Sapp was later named a member of the NFL's All-Decade Teams for the 1990s and 2000s, the only player named to two.

Sapp was also controversial, sparking several notable moments.

During the 2002 season, Sapp got into a shouting match with Packers coach Mike Sherman after Sapp delivered a blind-side hit to Green Bay tackle Chad Clifton that left Clifton with a pelvic injury.

About a month later, before a Monday night game against Pittsburgh at Raymond James Stadium, Sapp skipped through the area of the field where the Steelers were warming up, sparking a confrontation with Pittsburgh players.

A free agent after the 2003 season, Sapp joined the Oakland Raiders and played four more seasons. Though he did not return to the Pro Bowl or garner All-Pro honors, he remained effective, recording 10 sacks in 2006.

Sapp retired after the 2007 season, but he remains in the public eye. He competed on the TV program “Dancing With the Stars” in 2008 and he works as an analyst for the NFL Network and on Showtime's “Inside the NFL.”


rcummings@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @RCummingsTBO

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