The New York Giants have traded two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and a 2018 fourth-round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2018 third and fourth-round selection, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Pierre-Paul spent eight seasons with the Giants, winning a Super Bowl while compiling 58.5 sacks in 111 games.
The 29-year-old was developing into one of the most dominant pass rushers in the NFL, coming off a 2014 campaign in which he recorded 12.5 sacks. It was the second-highest sack output of his career as he put up 16.5 in 2011, which was just his second in the league.
But a July 4 fireworks incident that cost him the index finger on his right hand brought everything to a screeching halt as Pierre-Paul was limited to just eight games and one sack in 2015. He managed to come back and combine for 15.0 sacks from 2016-2017, earning a four-year, $62 million contract prior to last season.
Financially, the move to trade Pierre-Paul isn’t exactly ideal. While it fits the team’s bill of becoming more fiscally responsible by getting rid of bad contracts, Pierre-Paul only carried a $2.5 million cap hit and puts $15 million of dead money on the Giants’ books.
However, the Giants look to be moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under new management that includes general manager Dave Gettleman, head coach Pat Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher, making Pierre-Paul expendable.
For the Buccaneers, they get the pass rusher they were in desperate need of. Last season saw Tampa Bay rank dead-last in the NFL with just 22 sacks, which made getting a sack artist a top priority this offseason.
After unsuccessful attempts to get Michael Bennet from the Seattle Seahawks and Robert Quinn from the Los Angeles Rams, they have just that while providing their newest defensive end with a homecoming of sorts. A University of South Florida alum, Pierre-Paul played his collegiate games at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Buccaneers.