As NFL Network continues to roll out their top 100 players entering the season, the second member of the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes an appearance.
Yesterday we covered the first 2018 member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to crack the list of NFL Network’s top 100 players entering 2019 in Gerald McCoy. Now a member of the Carolina Panthers after parting ways with the Buccaneers this offseason, McCoy came in as the 75th ranked player; another player has now been revealed on the list.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul came in on NFL Network’s list as the 65th ranked player, revealed yesterday, after leading the Buccaneers in sacks a year ago. In fact, Pierre-Paul at the ripe age of 29, had his best year since 2014 last season in his first season with the pewter and red.
Last season, Pierre-Paul crossed the double-digit sack threshold by getting opposing quarterbacks to the ground 12.5 times. Again, Pierre-Paul has not hit that number since 2014, so a change in scenery after his trade to Tampa served him well. Additionally, Pierre-Paul tallied a forced fumble, 16 tackles for loss, and 20 hits on the quarterback.
Pierre-Paul will be missed by the Buccaneers this season as he recovers from a fractured vertebrae in his neck after getting into a car accident this Spring. He is however, recovering in the best case scenario and could return as early as the beginning of October, which would be fantastic news for the Buccaneers.
Now 30, Pierre-Paul looks to rebound from his second non-football tragedy in his career as the Buccaneers need his depth off the edge as both of their sack leaders from a year ago will not hit the field to start the season. Even if he misses the first six weeks, the Bucs would welcome Pierre-Paul back with open arms and look for him to become a significant contributor right away.