The NFL Says Goodbye to John Lynch: A Tribute to an All-Time Great

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer INovember 15, 2008

On Monday, the NFL will officially lose one of its more respected players of all time.  Former Denver and Tampa Bay safety John Lynch will formally announce his retirement.

Lynch, a former Stanford star, played both football and baseball in his college and professional days. 

He was drafted in the second round by the Florida Marlins, and the jersey he wore when he threw his 95 mile-an-hour strike for the first pitch in Marlins history is currently in the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame.

That is not the only connection Lynch will ever have with a "Hall of Fame." 

Lynch was buried on the Stanford depth chart at quarterback until his head coach Bill Walsh had him make the switch to safety.

He was a standout at the position his junior and senior years and he was drafted in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In his 11 seasons with Tampa, Lynch was selected to five Pro Bowls and four All-Pro teams, and he helped the Bucs to their first ever Super Bowl title. 

Following the 2003 campaign, Lynch signed with the Denver Broncos, where he made it to four more Pro Bowls. 

The future Hall of Famer has compiled 740 tackles, 13 sacks, and 26 interceptions over his career.

There may not be a more respected player to have played the game in recent years. 

Lynch was a staple for every team he put the pads on for, and everywhere he went, players and coaches called him captain. 

I'll never forget all of those Broncos fans clamoring for his autograph, and Lynch squeezed his way to the back and gave his gloves to a little girl.

John Lynch is a poster boy for dedication, hard-work, and loyalty. 

Although he may have had his best years with Tampa, Lynch will retire Monday as both a Buc and a Bronco, and he will be missed.

The NFL needs more players like John Lynch, because nowadays finding a guy as tough as nails while also being soft spoken and humble is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

One last Mile-High salute to John Lynch: A tribute to a Hall of Fame career.