McLendon, 35, joined the Bucs via a mid-season trade with the New York Jets following an injury to starting nose tackle Vita Vea. At 34-years old, McLendon saw action in Tampa Bay’s final nine games of the regular season and three of their playoff games, totaling 22 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and three quarterback hits. He was a key part of the team’s second straight season as the No. 1 run defense in the NFL, despite being the oldest defensive tackle to take a snap last year at 34 years old.
With the return of all 22 starters from Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl-winning roster, McLendon adds to a number of signings this week that will provide key depth as the Bucs make an attempt to “go for two” in 2021. Earlier in the week the Bucs added ex-Bengals running back Giovani Bernard and made official the return of cornerback Ross Cockrell on a two-year deal.
The Bucs have now re-signed 13 of their own free agents this offseason, with Bernard the lone new signing. The only free agents from last year’s team that remain unsigned are WR Antonio Brown, RB LeSean McCoy, QB Blaine Gabbert, QB Ryan Griffin, RB T.J. Logan, RB Kenjon Barner and LB Deone Bucannon.