I am not talking about a near-future event taking place in 1997, where Snake Plissken has 24 hours to save the POTUS. I am talking about the newly acquired Jets’ defensive lineman Steve McLendon. According to NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, McLendon wasted no time following the Jets’ 24-0 loss to the Dolphins this past Sunday. The veteran immediately jumped in his car and drive straight from Miami to Tampa.
The 11-year veteran went undrafted in 2009 and spent 6 seasons with the Pittsburg Steelers and then went on to play 5 seasons with the Jets. McLendon’s career started out slowly, but after his first 3 seasons with the Steelers, he began solidifying himself as a starting defensive tackle. So far, in his 11-year career, he has started in 90 games, recording 248 tackles, 41 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumbles recovered.
McLendon will rejoin Todd Bowles and Kacy Rodgers in Tampa, and the familiarity should ease the veteran right onto the line. Whether or not he becomes the starting nose tackle is yet to be determined, but I do not see any reason why he should not. Despite Nacho filling in for the injured Vita Vea last week, McLendon seems to be better suited for the job.
We are still likely to see a rotation at nose tackle as Bowles likes to mix things up. However, I would believe it would be McLendon leading the charge as Nacho can return to playing the linebacker position as well as filling in at nose tackle and various other positions on the defensive line.
The Bucs sent over a 2022 sixth-round pick for the vet and are going to pay the rest of his $1.25 million salary. The deal seems like a very good one, indeed.