Steve McLendon made four tackles for the Jets in Sunday's 24-0 loss to the Dolphins. Moments later, the defensive tackle was in the process of being traded to the Buccaneers, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. In addition to receiving McLendon, the Buccaneers will receive the Jets' 2023 seventh-round pick in exchange for their 2022 sixth-round pick, per Stroud.
The addition of McClendon will help fill the void left by Vita Vea's season-ending leg injury sustained during Tampa Bay's Week 5 loss to the Bears. A former undrafted rookie out of Troy, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound McLendon cracked the Steelers' roster in 2010, appearing in seven games that season while helping Pittsburgh win their third AFC title in six years. McClendon remained in Pittsburgh through the 2015 season, receiving 31 regular season starts in 79 games. From 2013-15 (his final three years with the Steelers), McClendon made 30 starts while recording 68 tackles during that span.
McLendon's success in Pittsburgh led to him signing a three-year deal with the Jets during the 2016 offseason. He then signed two different extensions with the team, with the second extension making him a free agent after this season. In five seasons with the Jets, the 34-year-old McLendon has made 58 starts in 64 games. He has recorded 154 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, and five sacks.
McLendon will go from the 0-6 Jets to a Buccaneers team that improved to 4-2 after defeating Aaron Rodgers and the previously unbeaten Packers on Sunday, 38-10. Tampa Bay's defense, which entered Sunday's game No. 8 in the NFL in scoring, held the Packers to just 13 first downs and 7-of-17 efficiency on third down. They also sacked Rodgers four times and intercepted him twice.