Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety John Lynch to announce retirement Monday in Tampa

The Bucs drafted John Lynch in 1993, and he played for them for 11 seasons before leaving. He then played four seasons in Denver.

Times (2000)

The Bucs drafted John Lynch in 1993, and he played for them for 11 seasons before leaving. He then played four seasons in Denver.

TAMPA — The last stop for John Lynch will be the place where it all began.

The former Bucs safety, one of the best to play the position, will retire in what is expected to be an emotional news conference Monday at One Buc Place.

Lynch, 37, won't be retiring as just a Buccaneer, the team with which he won a Super Bowl. The Broncos, for whom he played after he left Tampa Bay following the 2003 season, will be represented, too. Members of the organization will fly to Tampa after their game Sunday at Atlanta.

The nine-time Pro Bowl selection's decision to announce his retirement in Tampa speaks volumes about his feelings toward the organization that made him a third-round pick out of Stanford in 1993, despite being unceremoniously cut loose by the team after 11 seasons.

He was granted his release by the Broncos in July and signed with the Patriots, visiting Tampa Bay for a preseason game. But roster constraints prompted New England to release him just before the start of the regular season.

Lynch ranks second in NFL history in Pro Bowl selections for safeties. He trails Hall of Famer Ken Houston, who had 10.

The affable Lynch figures to get strong consideration for the Hall of Fame largely because of his physical presence, which draws frequent comparisons to all-time great Ronnie Lott.

Former Bucs teammate Warren Sapp didn't hesitate to put Lynch in the same class.

"He's the best strong safety I ever played with," Sapp said Friday, "and the second-best safety ever, behind only Ronnie Lott — period."

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety John Lynch to announce retirement Monday in Tampa 11/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 1:55pm]

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