Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs and Lynch: Six More Years

Tampa Bay continues to lock up the core of the team’s young talent by re-signing Pro Bowl safety John Lynch

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Already considered one of the league's hardest hitters, John Lynch has developed a knack for making the big turnover at the right time

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have re-signed S John Lynch to a six-year contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

Lynch, one of the league's premier safeties, completed his most decorated season as a pro in 1999, garnering first-team All-Pro honors by the Associated Press en route to his second trip to the Pro Bowl.

"John is truly one of the better strong safeties in the National Football League," Buccaneers general manager Rich McKay said. "It is always nice to extend the contract of a player of his caliber."

Lynch, entering his eighth season, has racked up 100 or more tackles for four consecutive seasons. In 1999, Lynch led the secondary with 128 tackles, adding two interceptions, one forced fumble and a career-best 14 passes defensed in 16 starts. Lynch earned a myriad of postseason awards last season, including first-team honors from Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly, USA Today, The Sporting News and Football Digest. He helped the Bucs secondary rank second in the NFL in pass defense en route to setting a club mark for lowest completion percentage (52.7 percent). The Buccaneers captured their first NFC Central Division title in 18 years and advanced to the NFC Championship Game.

That season followed the 1998 campaign, in which Lynch became the lone Buccaneer player to record a defensive statistic in every category, posting 107 tackles, six passed defensed, two INTs, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. In his other Pro Bowl season in 1997, Lynch finished with a career-best 154 tackles, marking the most tackles ever recorded by a Buccaneer defensive back. He played a vital role in leading the Buccaneers to their first playoff appearance in 15 years.

The 28-year old Lynch was originally a third round draft choice of the Buccaneers (82nd overall) in 1993. He is joined by DE Chidi Ahanotu as the veteran member of that draft class. Only TE Dave Moore has been with the team longer, signing with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 1992.

Lynch owns 576 career tackles, 12 interceptions, 40 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He has played in 105 games, starting 73. Lynch's 12 interceptions ties him for seventh place on the club's all-time interception list with CB Jeris White and S Mark Robinson, while his 576 tackles places him 10th all-time.

A four-year letterman at Stanford, Lynch played two seasons at quarterback and two at safety. As a senior, he was named Football News second-team All-America and first-team All-Pac 10. Lynch concluded his career as a Cardinal with 95 tackles, four INTs, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a sack. He also excelled in baseball and was a second-round draft choice of the Florida Marlins in 1992 (66th overall). In addition, Lynch also threw the first pitch in the history of the Marlins organization as the opening day starter for the Erie Sailors.

Lynch and his wife, Linda, are actively involved with numerous Bay Area charities, including the Lynch Family Legacy Scholarship, which provides financial assistance for two Hillsborough high school student athletes attending college. He has also created "Lynch's Safety Zone," which provides 20 tickets per game to Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay who meet education-based incentives. The Lynch family splits its off-season between Tampa and Del Mar Beach, California with son Jake (4/2/99).

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