Jason Pierre-Paul’s strange, memorable New York Giants career is over.
The Giants sent Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, trading the pass-rushing defensive end and a fourth-round pick to the Bucs for a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That’s not a lot of draft capital to pay for a player with 58.5 career sacks. The Buccaneers desperately needed pass rushers, and they landed into a pretty good one who is still just 29 years old.
Pierre-Paul will be best remembered for a July 4, 2015 mishap in which he severely injured his hand, including the loss of his index finger. He was under the franchise tag at the time, the Giants rescinded that, but eventually Pierre-Paul returned to the field, played well and got a large contract. He also turned that accident into a positive, doing PSAs and becoming an inspiration for young fans.
Jason Pierre-Paul with Giants
Jason Pierre-Paul with Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 05: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 5, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 14: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants on the bench in the game with the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11: New York Giants NFL player Jason Pierre-Paul arrives at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 14: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants warms up prior to a game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on September 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 21: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants looks to sack Shaun Hill #14 of the St. Louis Rams during the third quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on December 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 17: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants returns an interception for a touchdown against Scott Tolzien #16 of the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 17, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 17: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 talks with Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on November 17, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeat the Packers 27-13. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The four-year, $62 million contract he signed last offseason was presumably a major reason he was available in a trade. He has an $11.25 million base salary this season. With a new regime in New York there was going to be some housecleaning, and Pierre-Paul became part of that. The Giants have the No. 2 pick of the draft and their plans have been a mystery, though now it’s at least possible they’ll consider NC State pass rusher Bradley Chubb with the pick.
Pierre-Paul had some great moments in his eight Giants seasons, and one infamous one that he’ll be remembered for forever. It was impressive how he battled back to reestablish himself as one of the best defensive ends in football, and hopefully he can keep that going in Tampa Bay.