Defensive tackle Warren Sapp was a huge part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl XXXVII championship team and he anchored their defense from 1995 through 2003. Sapp will be rewarded for his efforts as a Buc when the team retires his No. 99 jersey during the upcoming season.
According to the Buccaneers' official Twitter feed, Bucs owner Bryan Glazer announced that the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Famer will have his iconic jersey retired this year.
Sapp is synonymous with the Buccaneers, so it is certainly fitting that he will be immortalized by the franchise for generations to come.
Sapp is easily one of the greatest defensive tackles of all time and that much was apparent very early in his career. Sapp retired following the 2007 season with seven Pro Bowl appearances to his credit as well as six All-Pro selections and Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1999.
He was a perfect fit in the Buccaneers’ famous “Tampa 2” defensive system as he was a penetrating tackle who rushed the quarterback with reckless abandon. Sapp retired with 96.5 career sacks, which puts him 34th on the all-time list. That is extremely impressive considering the fact that most of the players ahead of him were defensive ends or rush linebackers.
Sapp was well known for his prowess as a defender, but his wild antics and outgoing personality made him popular among Bucs fans and hated by the opposition. There were a lot of important contributors to the Bucs' defensive dominance in the 2000s, but it can be argued that Sapp was the biggest piece of the puzzle.
Without Sapp's consistent push up the middle it is very unlikely that Tampa would have won the Super Bowl. He is among the best players in Buccaneers history and there is no doubt that the retirement of his No. 99 is well deserved.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter