Breaking: Jets Trade Steve McLendon to Buccaneers

Well, another member of the New York Jets is gone.

Veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon has been traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to break the news.

The Jets are giving up a 2023 seventh-round pick for Tampa to acquire McLendon, and in return, will receive Tampa’s sixth-round pick in 2022.

This trade makes all the sense in the world, especially given that Pat McAfee broke on his radio show that they were in full tank mode. McLendon becomes the third Jets veteran to be released or traded since the 2020 NFL calendar year began, joining Jamal Adams and Le’Veon Bell.

For the New York Jets, this is actually a case of both good and bad.


The Jets lose a locker room presence and a veteran that could help teach the young players and keep the locker room in order. This team has a losing culture, and having him around would help mitigate bad habits from the young players on the defensive line.


The young defensive players can get more playing time. This will allow this front to further develop together. Quinnen Williams needs more playing time, as he is having a good season, and Folorunso Fatukasi needs more polish.

For Tampa, this fills the void left by the injured Vita Vea with a viable solution. McLendon knows the system and can step in right away since he played for former Jets head coach Todd Bowles.

This move only feeds the narrative of tanking. That said, with their current situation, the Jets should be trying to land Trevor Lawrence. If the Jets can come away with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, it will likely be worth it in the long run.

The 2020 season is already a lost cause, and Adam Gase should be a goner by season’s end. So, Joe Douglas has to set this team up for the best possible future he thinks they can have. Though detrimental for 2020, the losses of Adams, Bell, and now McLendon, are all good for the future.

The Jets now have 19 picks over the next two NFL Drafts. So, Douglas has more chances to hit on picks and will now have an opportunity to make his mark — but the ball is in his court.

(Featured Image Credit: New York Jets)

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