Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul Undergoes Surgery

Jason Pierre-Paul will be on the mend for a bit. The Buccaneers edge defender underwent knee surgery recently, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.

This was an arthroscopic procedure, and while it may sideline JPP for the start of Bucs training camp — should camps begin later this month as scheduled — he should be expected to recover in around a month.

The 31-year-old edge rusher has dealt with extensive injury trouble but has persisted to play 10 NFL seasons. He managed to rebound from the 2015 fireworks accident, which left permanent damage to his right hand, to record 15.5 sacks between the 2016-17 seasons. Despite playing just 10 games last season due to a fractured neck sustained in May 2019, JPP returned to post 8.5 sacks. He has 21 in two Tampa Bay slates.

The Bucs re-signed Pierre-Paul in March, giving him a two-year, $25MM deal to return alongside the franchise-tagged Shaquil Barrett. Tampa Bay is scheduled to begin camp July 28.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: JPP, Boston, Waynes

A new batch of contract details to pass along, all via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter):

  • LB Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers: two year extension. $25MM, including $20MM guaranteed. Salaries: $6.5MM, guaranteed (2020), $12.5MM, with $7.5MM guaranteed for injury (2021).
  • Tre Boston, Panthers: three years, $18MM. $8MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1.16MM (2020), $2.25MM (2021), $3.69MM (2022). $1MM third day 2020 roster bonus, $1MM third day 2022 roster bonus.
  • CB Trae Waynes, Bengals: three years, $42MM. $15MM signing bonus. Salaries: $5MM (2020), $8.4MM (2021), $10.4MM (2022).
  • DT Linval Joseph, Chargers: two years, $17MM. $8MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1.5MM (2020), $5.5MM (2021). $1MM annual playtime, sacks, Pro Bowl incentive.
  • OL Wes Schweitzer, Redskins: three years, $13.5MM. $4MM guaranteed, $3MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1MM guaranteed (2020), $3.49MM (2021), $4.49MM (2022).
  • LB A.J. Klein, Bills: three years, $18MM. $9.7MM guaranteed, $1.2MM signing bonus. Salaries: $2.2MM guaranteed (2020), $4.1MM, with $3.2MM guaranteed (2021), $4.2MM (2022).
  • OL Tyler Shatley, Jaguars: signed. One-year, $1.511MM deal with $600K guaranteed. $1.375MM salary for 2020.

Contract Details: JPP, Cousins, Weatherly

Deals are coming in quickly, so we’ve compiled some important contract details below:

Buccaneers To Re-Sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul will be back for another tour of duty in Tampa. The Buccaneers and the veteran pass rusher agreed to terms on a two-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

While JPP’s status in Tampa became murky after his scary car accident, and the subsequent restructure of his deal that made him a 2020 free agent, the sides agreed on a two-year, $27MM pact. This comes hours after the Bucs made the expected move to keep Shaquil Barrett around via the franchise tag.

The Bucs traded for Pierre-Paul during the 2018 offseason and saw him deliver 12.5 sacks — his most since his dominant 2011 campaign — that season. Even after sustaining a severe neck injury in the 2019 car accident, JPP returned and registered 8.5 sacks in 10 games.

Although Pierre-Paul will be going into his 11th season, he just turned 31. Bruce Arians indicated earlier this offseason he wanted to retain Barrett, JPP and Ndamukong Suh. The Bucs are two-thirds of the way there. And they remain in the Tom Brady sweepstakes. Big day in Tampa.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bruce Arians Talks Buccaneers’ Offseason Priorities

While impending free agent quarterback Jameis Winston may be stealing headlines, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is more focused on retaining his team’s top defenders.

“Oh, yeah. To me, it’s the whole defense,” Arians told ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “You can’t get ’em all, but … those young guys grew. We can’t let that go. I don’t care who’s my quarterback. We’ve gotta have a defense.”

Outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett is the most notable defender hitting free agency, and he should be in line for a lucrative payday after compiling an NFL-high 19.5 sacks last season. Many of Barrett’s defensive teammates are also set to hit the open market, including players Jason Pierre-PaulCarl NassibNdamukong SuhBeau Allen and Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

On the offensive side of the ball, it doesn’t sound like Arians is all that concerned about who’s under center. The head coach did admit that it’s tough to have any clarity on the quarterbacks position considering the uncertainty of free agency.

“You don’t know who’s available,” Arians said. “You just sit there and wait to see, is there someone available. If not, is this a better option. That’s the problem. You get about two days to decide in the legal tampering period.”

One of the team’s options will naturally be Winston, who spent the first five seasons of his career in Tampa Bay. Winston set career-highs in passing yards (5,109) and touchdowns (33) in 2019, but he also set a career-high (and led the NFL) with 30 interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Notes: JPP, Panthers, Falcons

Bruce Arians has understandably asserted Shaquil Barrett‘s all-time contract year will keep him with the Buccaneers but added the team wants to keep its other high-profile front-seven starters as well. Both Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh‘s contracts are up, but Arians said keeping both will be a top priority (Twitter link via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The veteran HC may have indicated JPP resides slightly higher on the priority list as well, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). Pierre-Paul returned from another scary injury this season and has registered 8.5 sacks in 10 games, giving him 21 in two Bucs seasons. The Bucs hold a great deal of cap space, at $88.9MM, but will likely need to devote a chunk of that amount to Jameis Winston.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • If Greg Olsen opts to put off his broadcasting career for another year, he will likely need to relocate. The veteran tight end indicated recently he did not want to take part in a potential Panthers rebuild. While the franchise has not committed to charting that path, Joe Person of The Athletic expects Olsen to be elsewhere in 2020. “I just think sometimes the writing’s on the wall,” Olsen said, via Joe Person of The Athletic (subscription required). “There hasn’t been anything officially. But I wanted to make sure if that was my last time that I made sure I told the people that I needed to how much they meant on my career.” One year (at a $6.6MM base salary) remains on the 34-year-old tight end’s contract. Carolina would save $8.1MM by cutting Olsen, its top tight end for the past nine years.
  • Moving to a younger NFC South tight end, Austin Hooper acknowledged the Falcons have not yet made him an offer to stay, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). Hooper, however, would like to return, and Thomas Dimitroff appeared to indicate the breakout tight end will be a priority (Twitter link via Ledbetter). We heard this earlier this season as well.
  • A Hooper return may lead De’Vondre Campbell elsewhere. The Falcons already gave a top-market contract to Deion Jones and are up against the salary cap. While noting he wants to stay in Atlanta, the Falcons’ top 2019 tackler acknowledged (via ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure) he may need to change teams. Although the Falcons will consider re-signing Campbell and Vic Beasley, Dimitroff did not commit to either’s return (via McClure, on Twitter).
  • Despite Breshad Perriman‘s end-of-season stretch potentially raising his free agency price, the Buccaneers‘ No. 3 wideout would like to stay in this high-octane offense. Perriman signed a one-year, $4MM deal with Tampa Bay, doing so after backing out of a Cleveland commitment following the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. The Bucs have Mike Evans on a high-end deal and will see Chris Godwin enter a contract year in 2020, perhaps pushing Perriman to another team.
  • A player the Panthers do not want on another team: James Bradberry. Carolina’s top cornerback met with GM Marty Hurney, and David Newton of ESPN.com notes the fourth-year corner received a “be patient” message from this summit. The Panthers want Bradberry back, Newton adds, but the former Round 2 pick would obviously prefer an upper-echelon deal to stay.

Jason Pierre-Paul Open To Returning To Buccaneers

Jason Pierre-Paul and the Buccaneers agreed to a restructured contract back in September that allows JPP to become a free agent at the end of the season. The two sides came to that agreement because JPP suffered a significant neck injury in an offseason car accident, and while Tampa could have avoided paying his 2019 salary at all, it would have been a bad look for the team to not pay a player whose injury came in a car accident in which he wasn’t even cited.

JPP has hit many of the incentives in the reworked deal, so he will still end up taking home a nice chunk of money for the 2019 season, and the Bucs’ decision has apparently preserved their relationship with the talented pass rusher. Though Pierre-Paul will be able to hit the open market in 2020, he would love to return to Tampa, as Jenna Laine of ESPN.com writes.

Pierre-Paul will turn 31 on January 1, but he has played very well since returning to the field in Week 8, which is a continuation of his strong play from 2018, his first year with the Bucs. As Laine notes, JPP has also become one of the most vocal leaders in the locker room, and other players have gravitated towards him.

One way or another, Pierre-Paul is not considering retirement, and he is optimistic that Tampa Bay is heading in the right direction under head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Negotiations with the Bucs (or any other team) could be complicated by the neck injury, but Pierre-Paul says his neck is completely healed and is “just like everyone else’s.”

As one league executive told Laine, if JPP’s physical is clear, he should have no issue finding a job, and given the contracts that pass rushers have been bringing home, he can reasonably expect a lucrative, multi-year pact.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Colts, Dolphins, JPP, Broncos

The Colts are expecting Devin Funchess to return soon, but head coach Frank Reich didn’t want to say anything definitive when talking with reporters on Monday.

“Yeah, we’re gonna monitor him as we go,” Reich said (via Andrew Walker of the team’s website). “You know, we’ve already talked about his injury a bunch; I mean we’ve gotta make sure that thing’s 100 percent healed, so we’ll monitor it this week and see how it goes.”

Reich did note that wideout T.Y. Hilton didn’t suffer a setback with his calf injury during Thursday’s night loss to the Texans, and he also revealed that receiver Parris Campbell could return this week from a fractured hand. Running back Marlon Mack won’t play this weekend against the Titans, according to the head coach.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • The Dolphins will likely be on the hunt for wide receiver help, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe (via Twitter). Jakeem Grant (ankle) and Albert Wilson (rib) both suffered injuries during Sunday’s loss to the Browns, leaving the team with only two healthy receivers in DeVante Parker and Allen Hurns. Head coach Brian Flores noted that he’s uncertain if Grant or Wilson would end up missing the rest of the season due to their injuries (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald).
  • Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul played 76-percent of his team’s defensive snaps this weekend, earning him another $600K. As Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets, the veteran has already earned $3MM in bonuses in five games, and he could earn another $3MM through his team’s final five games. Pierre-Paul has a $3MM base salary this season.
  • Take this for what it’s worth, but Vic Fangio told reporters that Broncos quarterback Drew Lock could “possibly” be on the roster this Sunday and could “possibly” start vs. the Chargers (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post on Twitter). The second-round rookie has been on the IR since September, but he was designated to return earlier this month.
  • Former NFL running back Karlos Williams has signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, the team announced on Twitter. Williams ran for 517 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, but he was later slapped with three separate suspensions. The 26-year-old was reinstated from his indefinite suspension last February, and he’s finally found his next gig.

Bucs’ JPP To Play Vs. Titans

The Buccaneers have activated outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul from the non-football injury list, per a club announcement. That means JPP will return within the allotted 21-day window for NFI players and take the field against the Titans on Sunday. 

JPP suffered a fractured neck in a May car wreck, but miraculously managed to return to practice earlier this month. It’s fantastic news for the Bucs, who get a Pro Bowler back in the lineup to join UFA addition Shaquil Barrett, who has been exceptional as JPP’s main fill-in. Barrett is tied for the league lead with nine sacks – already tripling last year’s tally with the Broncos.

JPP, meanwhile, notched 12.5 sacks in his first Bucs season. With any luck, he’ll be able to pick up right where he left off and help the Bucs climb out of their 2-4 hole.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jason Pierre-Paul Returns To Bucs Practice

The Buccaneers are not practicing as a team during their bye week, but one key player will participate in some important workouts. The Bucs began Jason Pierre-Paul‘s 21-day window for potential activation, with Bruce Arians indicating (via the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud, on Twitter) the standout defensive end would practice Tuesday and Wednesday.

JPP has been sidelined for months because of a neck injury. He’s currently on Tampa Bay’s NFI list. The car accident the 10th-year veteran suffered left him with a fractured vertebra and left his NFL future uncertain. Arians said last week a return to practice would be the plan, and it’s a promising sign JPP has hit another checkpoint on his journey back to the field.

Tampa Bay has received borderline-stunning production from UFA addition Shaquil Barrett this season, with the ex-Denver rotational pass rusher’s nine sacks tied for the league lead. JPP registered 12.5 in his first Bucs season and would be a welcome presence opposite Barrett.

The Bucs have three weeks from Tuesday to move Pierre-Paul to their active roster. Should that not happen by then, the 30-year-old defensive end will revert to season-ending IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.