This current regime is basically hanging on by a thread. With big-time acquisitions in past seasons during free agency, the team filled many with hopes that one day they would once again at least reach the playoffs.
Experiments with signings have failed leaving the organization scratching their heads. General manager Jason Licht has made countless efforts in trying to improve this team with players he and his staff felt were legitimate upgrades. For the most part, they have been wrong.
On Thursday, Licht pulled off an unexpected yet welcoming move by trading for Giants veteran pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul. Once again the team feels they got it right.
“Jason is an elite-level edge rusher who will make an immediate impact on our defense,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht. “We are adding a two-time Pro Bowler who is passionate about the game and has established himself as one of the league’s premier defensive ends. Jason is an incredibly hard-working playmaker on the defensive front with a unique skill set that allows him to stay on the field in both rushing and passing situations.”
Pierre Paul (6-5, 275) comes to Tampa Bay after spending his first eight seasons with the Giants (2010-17), starting 85-of-111 regular season games, totaling 423 tackles, 87 for loss, 58.5 sacks, 47 passes defensed, 13 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries – including a 43-yard fumble returned for a touchdown – and two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns. Pierre-Paul also started all four games in the 2011 postseason for New York, recording 18 tackles, four passes defensed and a half-sack in helping the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI.
This time feels different. This wasn’t a player going into free agency after a contract year. Pierre-Paul had two consecutive seasons where he legitimately played well recording 15.5 sacks despite missing four games in 2016. He also posted 11 tackles for loss in 2017 — two behind defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Those numbers can sure go up as they line up next to each other.
Parts of this report courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.