NEW YORK – A man with direct knowledge of the operation has said he has agreed to the terms of the trade that New York Jets will send experienced nose tackle Steve McLendon to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay will also buy New York’s 2023 seventh-round draft pick instead of the Buccaneers’ sixth-rounder in 2022. According to a man who spoke to the Associated Press about the anonymity, no team has announced a trade.
The deal, agreed on Sunday night, will reunite MacDonald with Buccaneers defensive co-ordinator Todd Bowles, who has been Jets’ head coach since 2015-18. McLendon adds depth to Tampa Bay’s defensive line that lost Vita Veena to a broken ankle that ended the season on October 8.
“Sometimes it takes 5-10 years to get 1 year to change your life,” McLendon wrote on Instagram on Monday. “This trip has not been great for me. It has been a great pleasure to meet so many new friends, colleagues, brothers, and loved ones.
“I want to thank all of you for your continued support and God make no mistakes with you. When one road (one) comes to an end, another road begins.”
McLendon, 34, became the second veteran player to break with the Jets last week. New York re-released Levion Bell last Tuesday after he and coach Adam Guess were blindsided over how the jets were being used for a hard-hitting crime.
With the Jets 0-6 and the NFL’s lone undefeated team for the first time since 1996, New York will move away from dealing with things like selling players and re-haping its list before being busy off-season.
McLendon spent his first seven NFL seasons with Pittsburgh in 2016 before signing a three – year, 12 million deal with New York. He quickly became one of the team’s locker room captains, with many young defensive players, including Quinn Williams, helping them adjust to life in the MacLean NFL.
Jets re-signed McLendon to a one-year contract in March 2019, and then granted a one-year extension last October. He is scheduled to become a free agent later this season and is unlikely to sign back to New York.
McLendon is one of the league’s most consistent runners in his 11-year NFL career. He had a total of 226 tackles, 12 1/2 bags and three forced fumbles.
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