Giants trading JPP to Buccaneers in stunner

The Giants said goodbye to one of their best pass rushers on Thursday, possibly clearing the way for them to draft their next great pass rusher.

The team traded Jason Pierre-Paul to the Buccaneers in exchange for a third-round pick. The teams also swapped fourth-round picks.

“We appreciate everything Jason has done for the Giants,” general manager Dave Gettleman told the team’s website. “He was a fine player for us, and he helped our franchise win Super Bowl XLVI. We wish him well in the future.”

The move is a possible signal the Giants are thinking of taking North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the No. 2 overall pick. Chubb is viewed as the best pass rusher in this draft and would be a better fit than Pierre-Paul in the 3-4 the Giants are moving to under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher.

Gettleman continues to remake the team’s roster. Pierre-Paul, 29, was the longest-tenured defensive player on the Giants and the last defensive player remaining from the team’s 2011 Super Bowl team.

The 2010 first-round pick had 58.5 sacks during his eight seasons, including 16.5 in that 2011 championship season.

Pierre-Paul will be best remembered, though, for the fireworks accident on July 4, 2015, that cost him part of his right hand and his subsequent return from the injury. The Giants signed him to a four-year, $62 million in March 2017.

“Thank you to the Giants for the eight years I spent there,” Pierre-Paul told The NFL Network. “They’re making changes; I understand that. Thank you to fans that supported me, and thanks for the great Super Bowl run that we had.”

Pierre-Paul also said Gettleman told him it was “an offer they couldn’t refuse.”

By trading him, the Giants save $2.5 million in salary-cap space, but he will still carry a dead money charge of $15 million for them. They will save the cash of paying him his $11.2 million salary this year.

The Giants now have no players left from their 2008-13 draft classes.

In this year’s draft, the Giants could be closing in on Chubb with that No. 2 pick. The Post’s Paul Schwartz reported this week the Giants view Chubb as standing alone as the best all-around defensive end in this draft, and the drop-off is much greater from him to the next best at his position than at guard with Quenton Nelson and the next best guard.

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