The Bucs are addressing their pass rush in a big way, trading a third-round draft pick to the Giants for former USF standout Jason Pierre-Paul.
Pierre-Paul, 29, had 8.5 sacks last year and has shown he can still be a dangerous pass-rusher after severely injuring his hand in a fireworks accident in 2015. In addition to giving up a third-round pick, the Bucs will swap fourth-round picks as part of the trade. The Bucs move up six spots from No. 108 to No. 102 in the fourth-round swap.
"Jason is an elite-level edge rusher who will make an immediate impact on our defense," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "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 has 58.5 sacks in his eight NFL seasons, including 15.5 in the last two years since returning from his injury. He was a first-round pick in 2010 after one season at USF.
The Bucs have a major need for help on their defensive line, having finished last in the NFL last season with just 22 sacks. They signed defensive end Vinny Curry last week after he was released by the Eagles as well. Pierre-Paul will make a fully guaranteed $12.5-million this year, and would make $14.5-million in 2019 and $12.5-million in 2020 under his current contract.
Tampa Bay has added four defensive linemen in the past week, signing Eagles DT Beau Allen, Bears DT Mitch Unrein, Eagles DE Vinny Curry and now trading for Pierre-Paul. Add in a draft pick and potentially half the team's defensive line could be entirely new in 2018.