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Warren Sapp | Ring of Honor | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ring of Honor

Warren Sapp

Warren Sapp

2013 marked a momentous year for Warren Sapp, one of the greatest players in Buccaneers history.

On February 2, he was selected as a first-ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Three months later, on May 2, Tampa Bay announced that not only would Sapp be the club's 2012 Ring of Honor pick, but that the team would also officially retire his iconic No. 99 jersey.

Sapp was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round (12th overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played nine years with Tampa Bay, appearing in 140 games and starting 130, while also starting each of his nine postseason contests. He continued his playing career playing four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, and retired having played 198 career games with 188 starts, recording career totals of 695 tackles, 96.5 sacks, four interceptions with one touchdown, 26 passes defensed, 20 forced fumbles and 12 fumble recoveries.

An integral cog in one of the league's top defenses of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sapp helped lead the 2002 Buccaneers to a world championship in Super Bowl XXXVII. He earned numerous other accolades, including seven Pro Bowl nods, four first-team All-Pro nominations, two second-team All-Pro nominations, NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, and was twice named to the NFL All-Decade Team.

Sapp's 96.5 sacks stands as the second-most by an interior lineman in league history and he is often credited for having helped revolutionize the defensive tackle position. He set Tampa Bay's single season record with his 16.5 sacks in 2000, the third highest total ever recorded by a defensive tackle. In each of his last seven seasons with the Buccaneers, the team's defense ranked in the league's Top 10.

Prior to drafting Sapp, the Buccaneers had suffered through 12 consecutive losing seasons. By his third year, Tampa Bay was appearing in the postseason and, over the next seven years, the team never had a losing record, made the playoffs six times and won Super Bowl XXXVII. 

Sapp's career was headlined by his incredible passion, overwhelming talent and legendary personality. He led the Tampa Bay defense with intense devotion and leadership, and his fervor was evident to everyone who watched him play.

Sapp played three seasons at the University of Miami, foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. As a Hurricane, he recorded 176 tackles, 19.5 sacks, five passes defensed, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He won the Lombardi Trophy for the nation's top lineman/linebacker and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy for the nation's top interior lineman.