Jets Trade Rumors: Steve McLendon, More Dealt to Buccaneers for 6th-Round Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2020

New York Jets nose tackle Steve McLendon (99) celebrates in the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The fire sale might be underway in the Big Apple as the New York Jets suffered their sixth defeat of the season.

Following the Jets' 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud reported they traded veteran defensive tackle Steve McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2022 sixth-rounder.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano provided the financial particulars:

McLendon has been a mainstay on New York's line in recent seasons. He made 44 starts between 2017 and 2019 and appeared in the team's first six games this season. The 34-year-old had 35 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2019.

Given both his age and impending free agency in 2021, McLendon didn't have a ton of value for a team that might finish with the NFL's worst record. Even for what's a pretty minimal return, this trade makes sense for the Jets.

Sending him to a Super Bowl contender is almost an act of mercy as well.

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McLendon is the second veteran out the door this week after the Jets released Le'Veon Bell. The situations aren't direct parallels since McLendon didn't appear to have friction with head coach Adam Gase. Still, you have to wonder whether this will be the last of New York's business before the Nov. 3 trade deadline passes.

With McLendon joining their ranks, the Buccaneers strengthen what was already an elite defense. They sat second in defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders, and held the Green Bay Packers to 201 total yards in a 38-10 win Sunday.