The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have pulled off a stunning trade and acquired defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants.
After a slow start to free agency that saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers miss on an attempted trade for pass rusher Robert Quinn, Jason Licht has finally got his guy. On Thursday the Buccaneers pulled off a blockbuster trade for veteran pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, sending a third round pick to the Giants and swapping fourth round picks. The news was first reported by Adam Schefter.
The 29 year old Pierre-Paul, a Super Bowl winner and two time Pro-Bowler, instantly becomes Tampa Bay’s best defensive end since Simeon Rice. Pierre-Paul has racked up 58 sacks over his eight year career, in addition to 433 tackles, 13 forced fumbles, and 47 batted down passes. In 2017, Pierre-Paul had eight sacks and a 79.1 grade from Pro Football Focus.
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Pierre-Paul was born in Florida and spent his college years at the University of South Florida before being drafted in the first round, so the trade to Tampa Bay is a homecoming story. On July 4th 2015, Pierre-Paul infamously had his right index finger amputated after a fireworks incident at his South Florida home. After a transition period in 2016 with a thick cast on, Pierre-Paul played all 16 games of the 2017 season and seemed to recapture his old form.
The Buccaneers will have Pierre-Paul under contract until 2020 and will pay him a base salary of roughly 11 million dollars this season. Pierre-Paul’s estimated yearly money is the fifth most in the NFL among defensive ends behind Ezekial Ansah, DeMarcus Lawrence, Olivier Vernon, and J.J. Watt. Hefty money for certain, but for a veteran pass rusher in the NFL teams have no choice but to pay up. Pierre-Paul’s salary will jump to 13 million in 2019.
The Buccaneers have likely now completed the rebuild of their defensive line and will focus their draft resources on defensive backs and offensive linemen. What do you think of the move, Buccaneer fans? Sound off in the comments below!