The Buccaneers have made a major addition to their defense by acquiring Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in a trade, according to ESPN. New York will receive a third-round pick and swap fourth-round picks with Tampa Bay as part of the deal.
Paul was one of the Giants’ top linemen over the last eight seasons. He set a career-high with 16.5 sacks as a 22-year-old in 2011, and while he’s no longer producing at quite that level, he was still solid with 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 16 games last season.
The trade allows the Giants to get out of the $17.5 million cap hit that he was set to eat up in each of the next three seasons. It also comes after the hiring of a new defensive coordinator, James Bettcher, who will be implementing a new scheme for the upcoming season.
The Buccaneers are looking to get back to the NFL playoffs for the first since 2007. They seemed to be on their way in 2016 with Jameis Winston leading the team to a 9-7 record, but they stumbled in their second year under Dirk Koetter with a 5-11 record. Paul should help a defense that finished 22nd in points allowed last season.