With the 2020 season in his rearview mirror and a Super Bowl ring on the way, Jason Pierre-Paul is now going under the knife to get back to 100%. The Buccaneers pass rusher underwent a minor procedure on his knee on Wednesday to clean up some issues that were limiting him throughout the season and putting him in-and-out of practice, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Pierre-Paul confirmed his procedure in a string of videos posted to his Instagram story where the 32-year-old was being prepped by medical personnel. He also noted in one of the clips that he was getting this surgery done so that he could be fully healthy for the 2021 season rather than playing at 70%, suggesting that's where he was at towards the end of this past year.
Pierre-Paul just wrapped up his third season with Tampa Bay and was able to start all 16 regular-season games for Bruce Arians' squad, along with all four of their playoff contests. He led the team with 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles over the year and added 55 tackles and 14 quarterback hits as well. In the postseason, Pierre-Paul continued to be a force off the edge, tallying two sacks, and 13 tackles (three for a loss).
While this procedure appears to be a minor note in the defensive end's offseason, it will be interesting to see if his contract is addressed at any point leading into the start of the new league year and free agency. Pierre-Paul has a $12.5 million base salary and cap hit for 2021 and the Buccaneers could clear $7.5 million if they cut him.
Given Tampa Bay's large amount of free agents and limited cap room, a restructuring of this deal -- if Pierre-Paul is willing -- could be one way to help the club retain a chunk of its Super Bowl-winning core from this past season heading into their title defense in 2021.