Jason Pierre-Paul is headed to Tampa Bay, but what does the trade mean for all parties involved?
There was a time when Jason Pierre-Paul was perhaps the best edge rusher in all of football. He was a dominant force on the New York Giants line, helping them win a Super Bowl in 2012. Six years and two fingers later, Pierre-Paul is not the player he once was, but that won’t stop the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from trying to see if he’s the missing piece to their defensive line.
New York traded Pierre-Paul to Tampa Bay on Thursday morning, in what is a clear cut win-win for both sides. The Bucs gave up a third and fourth round pick this year, which is a steep price, but in doing so land a guy who could finally solve the seemingly endless question of whether or not the defense will ever have any edge pressure.
The Giants now add more picks to their draft haul this year and could turn both picks from Tampa into major pieces in rebuilding a once glorious franchise.
Another blockbuster trade: Giants trading DE Jason Pierre-Paul and a 2018 fourth-round pick to Buccaneers for a 2018 third-round pick and a fourth-round pick, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2018
What it means for the Buccaneers
It means the Bucs defensive edge pressure these past few years has been so atrocious that a guy with missing fingers on his hand is better than anything else they’ve tried. Finger jokes aside, even if Pierre-Paul is half the player he was a handful of years ago, he’s the best edge rusher Tampa has had in a while. Gerald McCoy has long needed someone on the line to compliment his All-Pro skills, and Tampa very well could be getting that in Pierre-Paul.
Something to consider for Bucs fans: Pierre-Paul is a fresh 29-years old. He’s been around the league a while and seems older, but there’s no reason to believe there isn’t plenty of tread left on his tires.
Pierre-Paul is also a local kid, so this is somewhat of a homecoming for him. He played his college ball at USF, which shares Raymond James Stadium with the Buccaneers. Its hard to quantify the effect coming home has on a player, and it shouldn’t be discounted when looking at the pros of this trade for Tampa Bay.
What it means for the Giants
It has long been assumed that the New York Giants will be taking a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. That assumption is based more on quarterback hype and less on the Giants immediate need for a fresh starter. Eli Manning is in the twilight of his career, but we’ve seen the Giants put really good teams around him before and then he goes and wins a Super Bowl. There’s no reason to believe Eli can’t pilot the ship for a few more years and lead the Giants to the promised land one more time.
If that’s the feeling in New York, then passing on a quarterback and taking defensive end Bradley Chubb with the second-pick is a huge move. Chubb is quickly becoming the best player in the draft, and teams are moving him up their draft boards. Replacing Pierre-Paul with Chubb is a no-brainer for the Giants and gives them another potential All-Pro edge presence for the next handful of years.
Don’t sleep on the two picks the Giants acquired, either. If they draft Chubb No. 2 overall, packaging those picks (and more) to move back into the first-round to grab a Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph in the late-20s isn’t out of the question.