John Lynch newest member of Buccaneers' Ring of Honor

TAMPA, Fla. -- John Lynch is the latest addition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor.

The hard-hitting safety played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Bucs and teamed with Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks to form the nucleus of a defense that helped transform a franchise that was the laughingstock of the NFL into Super Bowl champions. He spent the final four seasons of a 15-year career with the Denver Broncos.

The Bucs made the announcement Friday.

A four-time All-Pro selection, Lynch entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick out of Stanford in 1993. He was named to nine Pro Bowl teams, more than any safety in league history except Ken Houston (10). In addition to having a reputation as a punishing tackler, Lynch forced 16 fumbles and had 26 career interceptions.

Lynch and Tony Dungy, the coach who Lynch, Sapp and Brooks all blossomed under, are among 15 modern-era finalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.

The 44-year-old joins Lee Roy Selmon, John McKay, Jimmie Giles, Paul Gruber, Sapp, Brooks, Mike Alstott and Doug Williams as members of the Bucs' Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium. Lynch will be formally inducted on a game next season.