View photos of DE Jason Pierre-Paul from the 2018 season.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul came to Tampa via blockbuster trade with the New York Giants last season. A University of South Florida alum, Tampa was familiar for JPP and his comfort level was readily apparent in his first year with the team. He became the first Buccaneer to record double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice in 2005, collecting 12.5 before the season was over. He had 16 total tackles for loss, ranking him sixth in the NFC and registered 20 quarterback hits.
While he was very productive against his former New York Giants team, recording 1.5 sacks on quarterback Eli Manning in Week 11, Pierre-Paul's most productive game came in primetime on Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. He got two sacks on Big Ben and registered four quarterback hits as well as a forced fumble. Given that it was Week Three, it served as a notice for Bucs fans that the third-round pick sent to New York in the trade was well worth it for the established pass rusher, who made an immediate impact for the Buccaneers in 2018.
Off the Field:
Pierre-Paul participated in the NFL's My Cause, My Cleats initiative, wearing cleats for burn victims by representing the Children's Burn Foundation. But he took it a step further, befriending a boy named Jacob Keefer, himself a burn survivor. Pierre-Paul invited Keefer to AdventHealth Training Center in December as well as the Bucs' home game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 14. Pierre-Paul identified with Keefer's story of adversity, overcoming a tragic burn accident and ended up putting Keefer's name on his cleats along with the foundation. More on Jacob's Story is below.