Jason Pierre-Paul has produced big numbers since joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 2018 offseason trade, and now the rest of the NFL and its fans have taken notice.
On Monday, Pierre-Paul was named to the NFC Roster for the 2021 Pro Bowl, which was revealed during a special edition of NFL Total Access on Monday night. Pierre-Paul was the only Buccaneer chosen for this year's Pro Bowl.
Through 14 games, Pierre-Paul leads the Buccaneers with 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles and has also recorded 62 tackles, six tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hits, two interceptions, four passes defensed and two fumble recoveries. He is the only player in the NFL with multiple interceptions, multiple forced fumbles and at least five sacks.
Pierre-Paul's sack total is tied for the seventh most in the NFL through 15 weeks and it is fifth in the NFC. Among players identified as outside linebackers in the conference, he ranks third in sacks behind Green Bay's Za'Darius Smith and Arizona's Haason Reddick. Pierre-Paul's four forced fumbles are tied for third in the NFL and second in the conference.
This is the third time that Pierre-Paul has been selected for the Pro Bowl, but the first since 2012 and his first as a Buccaneer. He joins an elite group of edge rushers who have made the all-star roster as a Buccaneer: Lee Roy Selmon, Simeon Rice and his current teammate, Shaquil Barrett. Pierre-Paul also got the Pro Bowl nod following the 2011 and 2012 seasons while he was with the New York Giants.
The Giants traded Pierre-Paul to the Buccaneers in 2018, returning him to the area where he starred as a collegiate player for the University of South Florida. He immediately ended a 13-year franchise drought by recording 12.5 sacks in 2018, the first double-digit sack season by a Tampa Bay player since Simeon Rice in 2005. Though he missed the first six games of the 2019 campaign while recovering from an offseason neck injury, he came back to rack up 8.5 more sacks in just 10 contests.
Overall, Pierre-Paul has recorded 30.5 sacks in just 40 games as a Buccaneer. That's tied with Barrett for the eighth-most sacks in the NFL since the start of 2018, and his average of 0.763 sacks per game is the sixth-best mark in that span.
Pro Bowl rosters are determined by a three-step voting process. Fans vote online to create a composite ballot that counts as one-third of the overall vote. NFL Players and coaches then vote as well to make up the other two-thirds of the process.
The actual Pro Bowl game will not be played after the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the NFL and Electronic Arts have partnered to take the Pro Bowl virtual using Madden NFL 21. The NFL will hold a week long series of Madden games between current and former players and celebrities, culminating in "an action-packed virtual Pro Bowl game played with 2021 Pro Bowl players facing off withinMadden NFL 21."