Hey Bucs, it’s time for Simeon Rice’s ring of honor

The Bucs 2023 schedule was released nearly a month ago, meaning news of the team’s next Bucs Ring of Honor inductee – and the date of their induction – should come any day or week now. I have a plea for Bucs decision makers: It’s time for Simeon Rice.

It will certainly be tempting for the Glazers to rush straight to Tom Brady’s introduction because of the buzz it would generate and the tickets it would sell. James Wilder is overdue for a Bucs Ring of Honor induction, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now. Hardy Nickerson is also another good option, and he should have his day eventually. Gene Deckerhoff, the legendary voice of the Bucs, also deserves his own ceremony at some point.

But this year Bucs gives Simeon Rice his flowers.

It’s time for Simeon Rice’s Bucs Ring Of Honor moment

Former Bucs DE Simeon Rice – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

One of the most prolific pass rushers in franchise history, Rice is the only slam-dunk Ring of Honor candidate from the 2002 Super Bowl team yet to be inducted.

The credentials are certainly there, as Rice was the only Buccaneer to have five consecutive double-digit sack seasons in Tampa Bay. His career layoffs of 69.5 rank third in Bucs history, behind Lee Roy Selmon (78.5) and Warren Sapp (77). The Illinois product made two Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro during his time at Tampa Bay (2001-2006).

Of course, Rice was a key member of the greatest defense in franchise history. That unit was also one of the best of all time, and as much credit as Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber and John Lynch deserve for it, Rice is right there in that group.

During that 2002 Super Bowl season, he was a Pro Bowler and a First-Team All-Pro selection. He finished that year with 15.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and 11 passes defensed in addition to hauling in an interception. And in the playoffs, he collected five sacks, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

In Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl XXXVII victory over Oakland, Rice was unstoppable, picking up two sacks and a force fumble as part of a dominant defensive performance.

There’s a legit Hall of Fame case for the man, though the buzz around that case has gotten way too quiet in recent years. Nevertheless, he is a Bucs legend and the least the team can do is treat him as such.

So yes, Rice deserves to see his name appear at Raymond James Stadium. And really, he’s waited long enough.

It’s time, Bucs.

Without Simeon Rice, Bucs’ ring of honor is incomplete

Former Bucs De Simeon Rice

Former Bucs DE Simeon Rice – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay’s 2002 Super Bowl team – and especially the defense – is well represented in the Buc’s ring of honor.

Warren Sapp was inducted in 2013. Derrick Brooks joined him in 2014. Mike Alstott became the sole offensive representative of that championship team in 2015.

John Lynch had his day in 2016, then owner Malcolm Glazer was next in 2017. Ronde Barber’s time finally came in 2019 before defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was inducted in 2021 (after a year delay due to COVID). Former head coach Jon Gruden was also inducted, but then removed after some unsavory and abusive emails surfaced that led to him being fired from the Las Vegas Raiders a few years ago.

It’s only natural that Simeon Rice comes next. Without him in the ring of honor it feels incomplete. Once he gets his induction, that might just be the case for the first Super Bowl team.

Brady, Wilder, Nickerson and Deckerhoff, among others, deserve the recognition in themselves. And their days must and will come. But Rice is the choice for 2023. It has to be, Bucs.

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the always energetic, always fun pass rush phenomenon during halftime of a game this fall? Do the right thing, Bucs.

It’s Simeon Rice’s time.

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