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Former Bucs safety John Lynch falls short of Hall of Fame again

HOUSTON — John Lynch's wait to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame will continue. And he could be waiting for many years to come.

Lynch was denied entry again Saturday on his fourth straight year as one of the 15 finalists for the Class of 2017.

"Sure, it's disappointing. But I've got enough going on, anyway," he told KUSA in Denver.

Lynch was named the 49ers general manager last Sunday.

Not only was Lynch competing this year with Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who also wasn't elected, but the upcoming classes could be stuffed with first-ballot players, including some safeties whose career numbers exceed those compiled by the nine-time Pro Bowl player for the Bucs and Broncos.

Next year, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and Seahawks, Vikings and Titans guard Steve Hutchinson could all be first-ballot considerations.

Ravens safety Ed Reed is eligible for the Class of 2019 even though he retired after playing seven games for the Texans in 2013. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu will be under consideration for the first time in 2020. Reed had 64 career interceptions and Polamalu 32.

A factor in Lynch's candidacy is that he finished with 26 interceptions in 15 seasons. What's more, he could face competition from a teammate when cornerback Ronde Barber becomes eligible for the Class of 2018.

Elected during a nearly nine-hour meeting with voters Saturday were Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Broncos running back Terrell Davis, Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, defensive end Jason Taylor, kicker Morten Andersen and safety Kenny Easley, a senior nominee.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was elected as a contributor, but former commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not get the required 80 percent of voters for election in the same category.

In nine years with the Chargers then two with the Jets, the 5-foot-10 Tomlinson reset the template for what had been known as a scatback, proving someone of his size and speed could be a game changer, not merely a change of pace.

As dangerous catching the ball (4,772 career yards) as he was running it (13,684), in 2003 LT became the first player to rush for 1,000 yards and catch 100 passes. His 31 touchdowns in 2006 are still the record.

Warner's heyday was 1999-2001 with the Rams, whose offense was known as "The Greatest Show on Turf." He won two overall MVPs and one at the Super Bowl to close the 1999 season, when the Rams captured their only Lombardi Trophy.

From 1996-98, Davis complemented quarterback John Elway, helping the Broncos to 45 victories and two Super Bowl titles. In 1998, Davis became the fourth runner to surpass 2,000 yards with 2,008. He suffered a career-changing knee injury in 1999 and played only 78 career games in seven seasons.

On the other end of the spectrum was Andersen, the kicker who lasted 25 seasons, played in 382 games and scored 2,544 points for five teams.

Taylor was defensive player of the year in 2006 with 131/2 sacks and finished his 15-year career, most of them with the Dolphins, with 1391/2 sacks.

Easley was the hard-hitting Seattle safety and four-time All-Pro who played seven seasons.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Former Bucs safety John Lynch falls short of Hall of Fame again 02/04/17 [Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2017 8:53pm]
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