Steve McLendon may leave the Buccaneers to join his two-time assistant coach.
Out of the plethora of pewter players set to be free agents, a huge amount of them are defensive linemen. One of those defensive linemen is nose tackle, Steve McLendon. McLendon is in a bit of an awkward spot when it comes to free agency, as he was one of the oldest players on the roster, just turning 36 years old.
The Buccaneers already have an all-world nose tackle in Vita Vea, and a strong depth piece in Rakeem Nunez-Roches. With the personnel, the Bucs already have at the position, and with McLendon’s age, he may become a cap casualty.
McLendon may still have a home though. Before coming to Tampa Bay, McLendon spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers followed by five with the New York Jets before the Buccaneers. His time in the big apple is what’s significant.
McLendon was a Jet from 2016-2020 before he was traded to the Bucs during the season. Caldwell was the assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach from 2015-2018, in what would be his final stop before Tampa Bay. McLendon and Caldwell spent three seasons together, and could very well spend at least one more.
Sure, Caldwell may not have coached McLendon directly, but the familiarity factor is there, along with other factors, that makes this a strong possibility.