The New York Giants have traded defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and a 2018 fourth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Thursday morning. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Giants will receive a 2018 third-round pick and a fourth-round pick in the deal.
Why did the Buccaneers make this trade?
The Tampa Bay defense needed somebody to rush the passer. They had the NFL’s worst total defense last season in terms of yardage given up per game. They were also last in the NFL in sacks, with just 22.
The team had also reportedly tried getting Robert Quinn from the Rams first:
Buccaneers tried trading for Robert Quinn earlier this off-season before he was dealt to Miami. Tampa Bay then resumed its pass-rush search, zeroed in on Jason Pierre-Paul, and completed another trade.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2018
Pierre-Paul had 8.5 sacks last season, and played in all 16 games for the Giants. The team had signed him to a four-year blockbuster deal last March, a deal that was worth up to $66 million.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Pierre-Paul said after getting the extension. “I couldn’t imagine me being anywhere else. I’m back for four years and I’m ready to get after it.”
But now, he’ll have to make things work in Tampa, where the Bucs hadn’t done much of anything this offseason to improve their pass rushing capabilities. It seems like he’ll be just fine with it:
Just talked to JPP, who said Dave Gettleman called to tell him he’d been traded to Bucs. JPP said DG told him it was “an offer they couldn’t refuse.” JPP said he is happy he’ll be closer to his son, who lives in S Florida. #NYG— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 22, 2018
Why did the Giants make this trade?
The Giants have appeared to be set on getting Saquon Barkley in the draft with the No. 2 overall pick. But the trade could mean that they are eyeing NC State’s Bradley Chubb, who many believe to be the best pass rusher in the draft.
The financial implications are big for the Giants, as well:
While trading Jason Pierre-Paul will save the Giants $12.5M in cash this season, he'll still count for $15M in dead money against the cap for the G-Men.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 22, 2018
That could mean good things for Odell Beckham Jr., who has been wanting a new deal.
When Pierre-Paul was healthy, the Giants as a complete unit were better at getting to the quarterback. The 2016 Giants improved from 30th to 14th in team sacks.
But now they’ll have to look to replace him, and a Chubb selection doesn’t seem as farfetched as it might have before this trade was done. But the way this NFL offseason has gone, there’s no telling what will be done.