“Special year” for John Lynch includes two Rings of Honor

Safety John Lynch is still waiting for his invitation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In the interim, he’ll be joining the immortals this year of not one but two NFL franchises.

The Buccaneers already have decided to put Lynch in their Ring of Honor. Now, the Broncos have decided to do the same (they call it the Ring of Fame) — even though he spent only four years with the team.

“I had found out earlier this year that I’m going in the Buccaneer Ring of Honor . . . so it’s going be a special year. . . . I didn’t even know they were voting,” Lynch said of the news he’d be making Denver’s exclusive group of all-time greats, via quotes distributed by the team. “I think I was surprised because I had no idea this was even going on. So that was the biggest surprise. Once I heard it, I suppose so, but you know, I think a lot of people say this, and I certainly feel it: It feels like I was in Denver and a member of the Broncos longer than four years. They were four impactful and meaningful years, not only for me on the field kind of coming back in the second stage of my career after neck surgery and proving to myself and everyone that I still had some left in me, and also for our family. It became our home for a long, long time and a very big part of our lives.”

The Broncos believe that Lynch’s status with two different NFL teams should aid his cause in Canton.

“I think you take not only what kind of player he is, but what kind of person he is, what kind of leader he has been for two franchises,” Broncos CEO Joe Ellis said. “I think if you sum that up, if I were a Hall of Fame voter, I would probably take that into consideration. From our standpoint here at the Broncos, we would like to see him get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I think that’s kind of the next step for him. It should be anyway.”

But Ellis was quick to point out that the team didn’t bestow the honor on Lynch in order to help him get a bronze bust.

“We talked about that,” Ellis said. “We discussed that he needs to get into the Broncos Ring of Fame based on the merits of how he performed as a Bronco. As I said, he was certainly worthy.”

Lynch spent 11 seasons with the Buccaneers and four with the Broncos. Like quarterback Peyton Manning, Lynch accomplished the double-dip despite only spending four years in Denver.