It is official: Derrick Brooks is going to Canton. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker announced on Twitter just after 6:00 Saturday night that he was among the five modern-day candidates elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The news was later confirmed by the league and during the NFL Honors show.
Brooks joins former Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones, Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, Cardinals cornerback Aeneas Williams as the five modern-era selections. Former Raiders punter Ray Guy and Falcons/Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey were also elected.
He becomes the third player in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history to achieve this milestone, joining defensive end Lee Roy Selmon and defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who was inducted last year on the first ballot.
Tony Dungy and John Lynch were also among the finalists but did not make the cut. It was Lynch’s second year of eligibility and Dungy’s first.
“Derrick Brooks embodies what it means to be a Hall of Famer,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement Saturday night. “During his decorated 14-year career, Derrick set himself apart both on and off the football field, and our entire organization takes great pride and shares in the excitement of his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Glazer added, “We look forward to celebrating this tremendous achievement with Derrick later this summer when he joins Lee Roy Selmon and Warren Sapp as Buccaneers Hall of Famers.”
It was extra special for new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, who was Brooks’ position coach for five years in Tampa and became like a son to him.
“Words cannot accurately depict the level of pride that I feel about having had the privilege to coach Derrick Brooks early in my professional coaching career. Derrick was a very special type of athlete who gave unselfishly of himself for the betterment of his teammates.”
“He was such an exceptionally gifted player that he could have easily excelled at any number of statistics such as sacks and tackles every year he was with us, but instead, Derrick focused on what his coaches asked of him. For all of his accomplishments as a player, I believe Derrick is an even better person off the field, and I am excited to see him inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Read more about Derrick Brooks’ career here.