The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a monster trade that could completely affect their draft board for 2018. Tampa Bay sends it’s third-round pick (69) and swaps fourth-round picks (98 to Tampa Bay, 104 to New York) with the New York Giants for pass rusher and firework safety proponent Jason Pierre-Paul according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Another blockbuster trade: Giants trading DE Jason Pierre-Paul and a 2018 fourth-round pick to Buccaneers for a 2018 third-round pick and a fourth-round pick, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2018
Jason Pierre-Paul, known as JPP, played his college ball in the bay area for the USF Bulls and quickly has risen to one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. JPP hit double-digit sacks twice in his NFL career with his career high in 2011 with 16.5. At 29 years of age and producing still at a high level (he’s had 15 sacks over the last two seasons) and a career average of 7 per year, Pierre-Paul is just the type of force on the edge the Buccaneers have been searching for.
Of course, Pierre-Paul may be best known for a fireworks mishap in 2015 that mangled his hand causing him to lose his index finger and reconstruction of his right hand. Pierre-Paul returned late in the 2015 season, playing eight games and managing a career-low 1 sack, causing some to wonder if he’d ever been the same player. However, in 2016 and 17, he left little doubt he’s still a force to be reckoned with.
Pierre-Paul did deal with a number of injuries last season, limiting some of his effectiveness and forcing him to use “the club” on his right hand again. The Bucs are banking that it was an anomaly in a lost year for the Giants and not JPP starting to break down. Heck, the Bucs would gladly take 7 sacks as a down year.
How Jason Pierre-Paul Fits With The Bucs
Easily, Pierre-Paul becomes Tampa Bay’s best pass rusher and an excellent compliment to DT Gerald McCoy. He is the type of player that the Bucs have been searching for a while for. JPP, when healthy, is a legitimate problem for any offense in the league.
How Does This Trade Effect the Cap
JPP’s contract accounts for $12.5 million on the salary cap and he is signed through 2020. I think the Bucs are done shopping for this season other than for depth players and college free agents.
Wow. This one came out of nowhere. We have to all take a breath and realize JPP isn’t the guy who got 16.5 sacks four years ago. He may never be that guy again. He got close to double-digits each of the last two seasons, though, which is more than anyone on the Buccaneers roster not named Gerald McCoy can say. JPP is a huge upgrade and while the cost of a 3rd round pick is high, it frees up the Bucs to not be married to having to get an edge rusher early in the draft and can focus on other positions. With JPP, Vinny Curry and Noah Spence returning from injury, the Bucs’ pass rush seems to have the upgraded significantly.