When NFL fans think of those dominant Buccaneer defenses in the late 90’s early 2000’s many names come to mind like Warren Sapp, Hardy Nickerson, Derrick Brooks, Brad Culpepper, John Lynch, Simeon Rice, Ronde Barber, and from time to time, you will even hear Mr. Monday Night Football Booger McFarland’s name thrown into the mix, but one name that is rarely added to the mix is the Legendary Chidi Ahanotu’s. Leaving Chidi’s name off of such a prestige list is borderline blasphemy and is absolutely disrespectful.
Ahanotu was drafted by the Bucs in the 6th round of the ‘93 draft. He spent his first eight seasons with the Bucs, leaving in 2001 to play for the Rams, who lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. Following the Rams loss in the Super Bowl, Chidi moved on to Buffalo for a season in 2002, then moved on to San Francisco in 2003. Following the 2003 season, Chidi Ahanotu found himself on the Maimi Dolphins roster for part of 2004, before finalizing his NFL journey back home in Tampa Bay.
Chidi was that guy! He was the anchor of the Tampa Bay defensive line and paved the way, setting the tone for guys like Warren Sapp to have success. Chidi is the Bucs 4th all-time sack leader with 34.5. He even made an appearance on the Buccaneer top 100 list and was the 6th best defensive lineman on that list.
The Bucs have a long list of legends that helped build those dominant defenses, but Chidi Ahanotu is a player that needs to start getting his respect. Respect that he has rightfully earned on the gridiron! We also believe that one day he should have his name in the Ring of Honor.