Buccaneers: What does Steve McLendon trade mean for Tampa Bay?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a trade to acquire a nose-tackle

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Tuesday afternoon that they had made a trade to acquire NT Steve McLendon from the New York Jets. The Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud was the first to report the trade.

The Bucs will give up a 2022 sixth-round pick for McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round pick from the Jets.

McLendon, a 34-year-old veteran, has played in a total of 144 games in his career and has totaled 158 solo tackles, 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles during that time. He started his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and eventually developed into a starting nose-tackle with the franchise before moving to the Jets in 2016, where he has been an every-year starter since.

The Buccaneers were in need of nose-tackle following the season-ending injury to Vita Vea.

What does McLendon bring to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Tampa Bay has a way of reeling off trades for vastly underrated pieces and getting late-round picks with them, as well. That’s exactly what this trade is, without question.

McLendon has been a solidified starter with the Jets for many years now and he is currently on a one-year deal, so this move made perfect sense from a Bucs perspective.

The veteran will be able to come into the organization, provide leadership and be a nice depth piece at a position that needed it. Rakeem Nunez-Roches should still be expected to be the starter at the position, but McLendon will provide a legitimate option in the second-string that gives this team some depth along the inside that simply wasn’t there a week ago.

McLendon isn’t going to completely replace Vea’s production and- as we just said- he’s likely not going to be the starter, but this is a big move for the Buccaneers in terms of quality depth along the defensive line.