The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have retained defensive tackle Steve McLendon, as he has signed a new one-year contract with the team according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
McLendon, 35, was traded to the Buccaneers from the New York Jets in the middle of the 2020 season. Tampa Bay was in need of defensive line depth at that time after nose tackle Vita Vea fractured his ankle in Week 5. McLendon took on 332 regular-season snaps from there with the Bucs, recording 17 tackles, two tackles for loss, and seven quarterback pressures (per Pro Football Focus).
With Vea returning to the lineup in the playoffs and Rakeem Nuñez-Roches re-signing with the Buccaneers this offseason, McLendon should continue to serve in a valuable depth role and perhaps see his snaps decrease given his age.
McLendon offers three years of experience with Bucs head coach Bruce Arians (2009-11) and another three seasons of familiarity with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (2016-18), from their respective times with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets.
Should the Buccaneers look to draft a young defensive lineman or two in the upcoming NFL Draft, McLendon is an ideal candidate to mentor the rookies provided his knowledge of the system.
Eight former Buccaneers who were members of the 2020 Super Bowl run remain free agents at this time: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin, running backs LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and T.J. Logan, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and linebackers Deone Buchanon and Jack Cichy.