4:20pm: Ayers’ deal looks to be worth slightly less than previously reported, with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reporting (via Twitter) that it’s a three-year, $19.5MM accord for the eighth-year defensive end that could get to $21MM. The Bucs officially announced the signing, according to the team’s website.
3:59pm: The second Giants defender to change teams in a matter of minutes, Robert Ayers joins Prince Amukamara in agreeing to spend the next part of his career in Florida. Ayers will sign with the Buccaneers, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (on Twitter).
It’s a three-year, $21MM deal for Ayers, who will receive $10.5MM guaranteed.
A late-bloomer, Ayers continued his ascent that began late in his Broncos tenure by becoming a steady presence on the edge for the Giants. The former first-round pick is coming off his best pass-rushing season, recording nine sacks in his second contract season. The soon-to-be-31-year-old defensive end led the Giants as Jason Pierre-Paul, whom New York re-signed, encountered a career crisis stemming from a horrific hand injury.
Previously known for his strong run-defending acumen, Ayers’ improvement as a pass-rusher (Pro Football Focus tabbed him eighth among edge players last season) helped secure him a more lucrative contract than the pact he signed with the Giants in 2014. New York landed Ayers from Denver on a two-year, $3.75MM deal.
Ayers played in 12 games during each of the past two seasons, starting 11 in 2015, after signing a two-year deal with the Giants. He joins a Bucs front that has All-Pro Gerald McCoy inside and fourth-year player William Gholston on the edge.
The Bucs ranked 14th with 38 sacks last season.
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