The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today the acquisition of nose tackle Steve McLendon (mah-CLEN-don) as part of a trade with the New York Jets. The Buccaneers sent a sixth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft in exchange for McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round pick.
McLendon (6-3, 310) comes to the Buccaneers after spending the last four-plus seasons with the New York Jets (2016-20). Over 65 career games with the Jets, including 59 starts, he recorded 158 tackles (100 solo, 28 for loss), 17 quarterback hits, 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Now in his 11th season in the NFL, McLendon has been a part of five defenses that finished in the top 10 in rushing average, including his 2016 season with New York under Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles, who was the Jets' head coach that season.
McLendon, a Troy University product, originally entered the league as a college free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, prior to signing with New York as an unrestricted free agent in 2016. From 2010-15, he appeared in 79 games for Pittsburgh, making 31 starts. In 11 NFL seasons, the Ozark, Alabama, native has tallied 248 tackles (158 solo, 41 for loss), 28 quarterback hits, 12.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two passes defensed.
In addition, the Buccaneers activated wide receiver John Hurst from Injured Reserve and signed cornerback Mazzi Wilkins to the practice squad.
Wilkins (6-0, 191) entered the league as a college free agent with Tampa Bay during the 2019 offseason. He has spent time on both the Buccaneers' practice squad and the active roster over the past two seasons, playing in five career games and recording three tackles. The University of South Florida product is a native of Tampa.