This is the eighth straight year Lynch has been named a finalist and Barber’s first after four years of eligibility. Of course, the duo won a Super Bowl with the Bucs during the 2002 season when they defeated the Oakland Raiders. One of the biggest plays of that run came in the NFC Championship when Barber’s pick-six of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in the closing moments of the fourth quarter sealed Tampa’s trip to the big game.
Barber spent his entire 16-year career with the Buccaneers after being drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He retired following the 2012 season. In those 16 seasons, Barber had 47 interceptions (team record), 12 touchdowns, 28 sacks, and 1,251 tackles in 241 games.
Drafted in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Bucs, Lynch spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Tampa before signing in Denver for the final four years. Routinely a Hall of Fame finalist, Lynch, considered one of the hardest hitting safeties of all time, amassed 1,277 tackles, 13 sacks, and 26 interceptions. In addition, he had 16-career forced fumbles and 100 passes defended.
The committee will announce the Class of 2021 following a vote on January 19th.