Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jason Pierre-Paul could miss season with severe neck injuryby Andersen Pickard May 7, 2019 0 comments
Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a severe neck injury in a car accident Thursday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the entire NFL community got some frightening news on Tuesday, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first of many to report that Bucs linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a severe neck injury following a single-car wreck last week.
Tampa DE Jason Pierre Paul suffered a potential season-ending fractured neck injury in a single-car accident last week in south Florida, league sources tell ESPN. Pierre-Paul will visit neck specialists this week to get their opinions to see if there’s hope to save this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 7, 2019
According to the report, Pierre-Paul is expected to visit neck specialists this week to get an opinion on whether or not he will be able to return to football in 2019.
However, at the time, the Buccaneers were unable to provide much more information than the statement they released following the incident last week. In an updated statement today, Bucs general manager, Jason Licht, said, “As we stated last week following the news of Jason’s auto accident, our immediate concern was for both Jason and his passenger. While Jason was treated and released in south Florida the same day of the accident, we wanted to ensure that our medical team had an opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation here in Tampa, and that process is currently ongoing.”
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first off-the-field injury of Pierre-Paul’s nine-year career. The former New York Giants first-round selection lost some of his right hand in a fireworks incident on July 4th weekend in 2015. Despite this, he continued his NFL career in New York before being traded to Tampa in 2018. He started all 16 games for the Buccaneers last season and led the team with 12.5 sacks, which was his highest sack total since prior to his horrifying hand injury.
Around half of Pierre-Paul’s $14.9 million salary for the 2019 season became guaranteed in March, so there isn’t much the Bucs can do when it comes to replacing Pierre-Paul with someone of equal value. Of course, prior to today’s news, the Bucs were expected to release Gerald McCoy, who is due to be paid north of $38 million over the next three seasons. They could’ve cleared up all $38 million by cutting him, but perhaps they’ll stick with him now that Pierre-Paul’s 2019 campaign is in jeopardy.
Cutting McCoy would free up $13 million for in 2018 for the Bucs, who are in a tough situation financially. Even freeing up $13 million by cutting McCoy would not leave much room for the team, which currently has less than $2 million in cap space and has not yet signed any of their 2019 draft selections.
Once more information is known regarding Pierre-Paul’s status, expect the Buccaneers to get some work done on the defensive front in hopes of finding a way to make up for the impact from the 30-year-old’s latest injury.