EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 22: Steve McLendon #99 of the New York Jets looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Steve McLendon posted an uplifting goodbye message to New York Jets fans.

Steve McLendon is now in Tampa Bay after one of the more interestingly-timed NFL trades in recent memory officially came together.

Sending McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round selection to the Buccaneers during their latest loss, an embarrassing 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday, the New York Jets received a 2022 sixth-round pick.

In classic McLendon fashion, he made sure to remain classy as he exited the New Jersey professional football door, via his official Instagram account.

Steve McLendon
Instagram, @bigblackmclendon

“I know the time may seem blurry, but through dark times and the tough times, I will pray for you, and I will always continue to fight for you! Just like every road has a [stop sign] or [traffic light], another one begins another journey, but your mission is still the same. Much love, Jet nation!”

In addition to his words for the fans, the former Jets defensive captain also shouted out to his former Jet teammates.

View this post on Instagram

Sometimes it takes 5-10 years to get that 1 year that change your life. This journey has been nothing but great to me. I have the pleasure of meeting so many new friends, teammates, brothers, love ones but most all family. I want to thank you all for your constant support and with you all. God doesn’t make any mistakes. As one road comes to and end another one begins. Rather you go left or right make sure your CHOICE IS RIGHT! Passion meets Energy will equal Victory! Thank you! @nyjets #brotherhood @mr.fatukasi @j_franklinmyers @c_herndon23 @alldaymaye_ @presidentmal @thequinnenwilliams @nathandshepherd @frankie_luvu51 @king_rell10 @henry_anderson96 @iamkylephillips @jordanjenkins @teammvpgym #dline #family #newjourney #faithful #bleased

A post shared by Steve McLendon 99 (@bigblackmclendon) on

“Sometimes it takes 5-10 years to get that one year that (will) change your life. This journey has been nothing but great to me. I have the pleasure of meeting so many new friends, teammates, brothers, loved ones, but most all, family. I want to thank you all for your constant support and with you all. God doesn’t make any mistakes. As one road comes to an end, another one begins. Whether you go left or right, make sure your choice is right! Passion meets energy will equal victory! Thank you!”

NFL.com’s Michael Silver revealed that McLendon was essentially traded during the Miami game and that he was told he didn’t even have to fly back to New York. The veteran big man had the option to travel from Miami to Tampa Bay following the loss.

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Steve McLendon ends his New York Jets career with 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass deflection, 17 quarterback hits and 158 total tackles with 28 for a loss.


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