The Buccaneers have re-signed defensive tackle Steve McLendon, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The veteran returns on a one-year deal, setting himself up for his first full season in Tampa.
The Jets traded McLendon and a 2023 seventh-rounder to the Bucs last October, in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round choice. It amounted to a virtually no-cost pickup for Jason Licht & Co., providing them with an accomplished run-stuffer to fill in for Vita Vea.
After reuniting with Todd Bowles, McLendon notched 17 tackles and two tackles for loss in the regular season. In the playoffs, he tallied five tackles and three quarterback hits en route to a Super Bowl ring. Not bad for a player who started the year with one of the league’s worst teams.
McLendon started at least 14 games in each season between 2017 and 2019. Last year, he was first-string with the Jets for six games, but came off of the bench for the Bucs in the latter half of the year. Now, he’ll reprise his role in the rotation, providing steady support on the interior.
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