Tampa, Fla. – New Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Block Steve McLendon It was discovered that he was traded before the New York Jets’ game in the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.
McLendon played at a 24-0 loss to the Jets anyway, which was unusual for two emotional reasons and one injury could have canceled the trade. Usually when NFL trades take place before games, players become inactive.
“I got the news on Saturday night, waiting for a car to come to Tampa after Sunday’s game,” McLendon said Friday. “I said, ‘OK.’ On Sunday morning, I woke up and I was praying, ‘This is a last ride.’ I told my boys, ‘This is the last ride together.’ A lot of people ask, ‘Man, are you really going to play?’ I said, ‘Man, this may be the last time I play in my life.’ I said, ‘Let’s go out here and make it a better one. Let’s have some fun.’
“Even though we lost that day, it was some good football that was played between us. When it was over, it was emotional – very emotional – because I invited a lot of best friends and family members there as a family now.
“The great thing is, I’m here now. It’s one of the greatest opportunities I ‘ve ever had in my career. And it’s a great, great opportunity to be a part of an organization that wants you at this age.”
McLenton Miami had no extra luggage or transportation on the road, which is why the car was delivered. He immediately started the COVID-19 test protocol – which was recently extended to six consecutive days – so he is eligible to play this weekend. If he had waited even a day to keep driving, he would not have had a training session with the Buccaneers on Friday or be eligible to play on Sunday against the Raiders.
Starter Vita Viva needed Tampa back defensive after a season-ending injury, and McLendon, 34, and in his 11th season, played for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and defensive line coach Casey Rodgers.
Bowles insisted the Bucks should take action for the Jets captain, who has played 24 of 56 defensive events against the Dolphins. Buchanan dropped the sixth round draft in 2022 and won the seventh round in 2023.
“They asked me, yes, I stood at the table for him, we need depth there,” Pauls said. “It’s been a long season. You rarely get the season with those you have … He can help us, otherwise he’s not down right now, [and] He was a good guy for us. At any time you can get a good player and a good person, you are trying to get him. “
The news did not come as a complete shock to McLendon. The jets are rebuilt and run back Levian Bell Sliced and signed with Kansas City Chiefs. But McLendon admitted that it was difficult to fit in one last time.
“When it came to business, it made me very emotional because I have a lot of family and friends out there,” McLendon said. “But at the same time, I’m also excited to be a part of an organization that has won from not being able to succeed – this is something you always want to do. Remember you want to be a winner, you want to be a winner.”
Coach Bruce Arians said “there is no doubt” that McLendon will rotate the Buccaneers’ defensive line on Sunday.
“I’m always going back, in Arizona, we signed Red Bryant in Thanksgiving, he played in 22 plays on Sunday,” Arians said. “Steve was in this defense. Both Todd and Casey coached him, so it’s easy for him to remember.”