Free safety John Lynch is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s the fourth time he’s been a finalist since he appeared on the ballot in 2012. The lists of finalists is crowded this year as it features LaDainian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner and Terrell Owens just to name a few.
John Lynch Hall of Fame Chances a Mixed Bag
Lynch is one of the more interesting cases on the ballot because it seems like whether he is in or out neither result would be seen as an outrage.
Lynch was an elite player, but he was never considered the best at his position. He made the All-Pro First Team just twice in his career and intercepted just 26 passes in 224 games
He was never even considered the best defender on his own team. Lynch was obscured on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense by the likes of Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, Simeon Rice and Hardy Nickerson.
Lynch excelled at stopping the run. He was one of the best tacklers in the game and it seemed like he was always blowing people up. Lynch’s team defenses regularly finished in the top ten in stopping the run.
Lynch competes against one of the top rivals at his position in Brian Dawkins. It’s Dawkins’ first year on the ballot so it will be interesting to see who wins the enshrinement.
Regardless of whether Lynch gets in the Hall of Fame or not, he still remains one of the best safeties of the last 25 years.
The Best Safeties Since 1990
- Ed Reed (174 games, 64 interceptions) appeared in the postseason seven times in 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and won a Super Bowl. He made the All-Pro First Team five times.
- Brian Dawkins (224 games, 37 interceptions) had eight playoff appearances in 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, which included one trip to the Super Bowl. He made the All-Pro First Team four times.
- Darren Sharper (191 games, 63 interceptions) appeared in one Super Bowl and six postseasons in eight years with the Green Bay Packers. He made the postseason once in four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and won a Super Bowl in two seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
- Earl Thomas (107 games, 23 interceptions) won a Super Bowl and appeared in another with the Seattle Seahawks and has made the postseason six times in seven seasons.
- Eric Weddle (153 games, 23 interceptions) has made the postseason four times in nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers.
- Troy Polamalu (158 games, 32 interceptions) won two Super Bowls with the Steelers, went to a third and made the postseason seven times in 12 seasons. He was a First Team All-Pro four times.
- John Lynch (224 games, 26 interceptions) won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in 2002 and made the playoffs five times in 11 seasons with Tampa Bay. He also made the postseason twice in four seasons with the Denver Broncos.
- Eugene Robinson (250 games, 57 interceptions) made the postseason twice in 11 seasons with the Seahawks. Then he went to three consecutive Super Bowls, winning one with the Packers and losing twice to the Broncos; once with the Packers and once with the Atlanta Falcons.
- LeRoy Butler (181 games, 38 interceptions) won a Super Bowl with the Packers and went to another and made the playoffs seven times in 12 seasons. He was a First Team All-Pro four times.
- Carnell Lake (185 games, 16 interceptions) appeared in a Super Bowl with the Steelers and made the postseason seven times in ten seasons. He also made the postseason in one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and in one season with the Ravens.
- Merton Hanks (137 games, 33 interceptions) won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers and made the playoffs seven times in eight years. He also made the playoffs with the Seahawks.
- Rod Woodson (238 games, 71 interceptions) converted from corner to free safety after going to the Ravens and had the best four-year run of his career. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and made the playoffs with Baltimore again before appearing in a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders.
- Eric Berry (86 games, 14 interceptions) has made the postseason four times in seven seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has been First Team All-Pro three times.
- Steve Atwater (167 games, 24 interceptions) won two Super Bowls with the Broncos and appeared in a third. He made the postseason six times in 10 seasons.
- Darren Woodson (178 games, 23 interceptions) won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and made the postseason eight times in 12 seasons. He was a three-time First Team All-Pro.
- Rodney Harrison (186 games, 34 interceptions) made the Super Bowl with the Chargers and made the postseason with San Diego twice in nine seasons. He won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, went to a third and made the postseason five times.
- Charles Woodson (254 games, 65 interceptions) didn’t start playing safety with any frequency until 2008 when he began freelancing between corner back and safety for the Packers. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers and made the postseason with Green Bay five times in seven seasons.
- Roy Williams (114 games, 20 interceptions) made the postseason three times with the Cowboys in seven seasons and once in two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Mark Carrier (168 games, 32 interceptions) made the postseason three times with the Chicago Bears in seven seasons and made the postseason twice in three seasons with the Detroit Lions.
- Lawyer Milloy (234 games, 25 interceptions) won a Super Bowl and appeared in another with the Patriots and had four playoff appearances. He also appeared in the playoffs with the Falcons once in three seasons and once in his last season with the Seahawks.