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Sapp easy choice for Bucs' Ring of Honor

TAMPA — Warren Sapp's selection as the next Buccaneer to enter the club's Ring of Honor was not a difficult one for the Glazers.

But the choice has special meaning for the family that owns the team.

"My family feels a very special connection to Warren," co-chairman Bryan Glazer said Thursday after announcing plans to induct Sapp.

"1995 was the year we purchased the team. And in our first draft, in our first war room, Warren Sapp was the first player drafted under our watch. The second one that day was pretty good, too, but we'll save that speech for another day."

That second player was LB Derrick Brooks, who is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year.

The Bucs also will retire Sapp's No. 99. Both ceremonies will be at the Nov. 11 Monday night game against the Dolphins.

The Glazers make decisions on Ring of Honor inductees among themselves while utilizing input from others. But when it came time to make Sapp this year's choice, there was nothing but total agreement, Glazer said.

"When you really think about it, there was no other choice," he said. "We knew (Sapp) was going to be up there at some point. But on Feb. 2 of this year, (Sapp) earned his spot. On that great day, Warren Sapp became the second Buccaneer voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"During his career, Warren never gave less than his all. His days on the field were headlined by incredible passion, overwhelming talent and, of course, his louder-than-life personality. His accolades and statistics speak for themselves."

ROSTER MOVES: The Bucs made room on the roster for their undrafted free agents. G Derek Hardman, DT Corvey Irvin and CB James Rogers were waived, and K Nate Kaeding and TE Drake Dunsmore retired.

Kaeding, a former standout with the Chargers, joined the Bucs last month as competition for incumbent Connor Barth. He ranks second in field-goal percentage in NFL history among kickers with more than two seasons at 86.2, behind Mike Vanderjagt's 86.5. Kaeding, 31, said he sustained a recent groin injury that will prevent him from kicking again.

Dunsmore was a seventh-round draft pick from Northwestern in 2012. He spent last season on the practice squad.

LOCAL Guy: Former Miami RB Mike James, a sixth-round draft pick this yar, said it will be a "dream come true" to play so close to Haines City, where he grew up.

James, who reported for the start of rookie minicamp Thursday, remembered going to games at Raymond James Stadium as a kid. But being a late-round pick, James quipped he can't afford to go overboard on his family's ticket requests for home games. "For now," he said, "you can watch it on TV and get the NFL package."

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Sapp easy choice for Bucs' Ring of Honor 05/02/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 2, 2013 9:59pm]
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