The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jason Pierre-Paul have agreed to a reworked contract that includes the defensive end’s compensation dropping by around $3 million for 2019, while the 2020 year of his deal was eliminated, per a league source.
Given that there are varying opinions on whether and when Pierre-Paul will be able to resume his playing career after a neck injury suffered in a car accident this past May, the contract reflects a compromise between the two sides.
Pierre-Paul was placed on the non-football injury list, which means the team was not obligated to pay him his full salary of $13.65 million for this season. With the amended deal, Pierre-Paul’s compensation for the year is now $10.5 million, and the 30-year old can hit free agency in March if he is able to continue to play football, which he believes he can.
For the Buccaneers, this deal creates financial flexibility in the form of $4.4 million in cap savings, which is helpful for a team that has been tight to the salary cap.
There is no timetable for Pierre-Paul’s return and the organization is proceeding cautiously, given the nature of his injury. He was cleared by the team and independent doctors to resume rehabilitative exercises last month after he opted not to undergo surgery.
Shaquil Barrett has stepped up in his absence, tying an NFL-record with 8 sacks in the first three games.
Bruce Arians said Monday that Pierre-Paul is “progressing” and that it’s been good to see him at the team facility.
“Yeah, he’s been in and out a bunch,” he said.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.