Who Else Values Will Gholston?

June 17th, 2016

jason licht 0229If Joe had to vote for a Buccaneer most likely to nail a giant payday in free agency next offseason, defensive end Will Gholston would get the nod easily.

Vincent Jackson and Mike Glennon would earn honorable mentions.

Jackson and Glennon have a lot to prove in 2015, however, but Gholston may not.

That may seem crazy, but Gholston is a giant (6-6, 285) active, physical and versatile defense end. He turns 25 next month, and he is a renowned run stuffer. Look around, those kinds of players get paid big time in today’s NFL.

Adding more fuel to the fire is recent praise of Gholston’s work by Bucs’ veteran free agent DE Robert Ayers, who is a candid speaker. Dirk Koetter also weighed in this week, explaining Gholston may be under the media’s radar, but it’s clear what Gholston offers.

“The style of play that Will Gholston has is not conducive to playing underwear football because Will’s a grinder. I mean, Will is an ‘in-the-trenches, beat-you-up’ defensive end, so guys that are going to show up in underwear football are speed and quickness guys, flashy guys,” Koetter said.

“To win football games in the NFL you have to have grind-it guys, and I’ve been telling our defensive coaches all along, from my own experience with Will last year watching it is, Will is one of those grinders. He’s an in the trenches, every down, he’s going to give you what he has guy. And I think for Robert Ayers to say that, that just shows Robert’s experience in the league, that he can appreciate a guy that’s a grinder like Will is. We’re fortunate to have Will. Will is one of those guys that not everybody – again because he’s not a flashy guy – not everybody appreciates what he does in the trenches, but we sure appreciate it.”

Joe’s written many times that Gholston may be the toughest DE matchup in the NFL when it comes to run blocking. No tight end can block Gholston, and that affects offenses. It’s a big reason the Bucs were one of the league’s best against the run last season.

Joe assumes Bucs general manager Jason Licht could lock up Gholston to a reasonable long-term contract this summer, but that’s highly doubtful to happen. Gholston simply hasn’t done enough to earn that investment. Joe would prefer he prove himself for one more season.

Plus, if Noah Spence is the real deal and Jacquies Smith racks up sacks for the third consecutive season, then a big investment in Gholston now would be misguided in a passing league.

19 Responses to “Who Else Values Will Gholston?”

  1. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I’ve said on here before how much I like Gholston. I’m really hoping coach Hayes can help him become a better pass rusher. If so, he’ll be set up for a nice new contract. Go get’em big Will.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Will need to control himself more…..it seemed he had several penalties for roughness last year…..but, the upside is…..he’s rough!!!

  3. BigHogHaynes Says:

    This guy is just not a pass rush specialist, we all should know that by now, but with our new staff and this being a contract year lets hope for the best, 8 sacks should get him that fat contract up-grade!!

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    always thought he was one of our best de’s pound for pound since he got here….outstanding against the run…just needs to learn a few techniques and a few counter moves and he could end up with 10sacks….GO BUCS!!!

  5. Rrsrq Says:

    If Gholston gets 8 sacks, Bucs won’t be able to resign him, good for him, maybe bad for us, but like Dungy usually had done, somebody should be waiting in the wings and Licht has done a decent job of finding practice squad gems

  6. Pewter Power Says:

    Imagine how good the run defense could be if he and Michael Bennett player on the same line.

  7. Buccaneers Says:

    Thanks for the insight Joe. TBH I didn’t really even realize Gholston was that great against the run. To me, he was just another End that couldn’t get to the QB.

    That being said, here’s to a great contract year to Gholston!! I don’t see us retaining him after this year if he is going to demand a nice chunk of change. I see Licht being very wise with his contracts and keeping an eye to the future. Jason’s toughest and most critical days are ahead of him as GM.

    He will have some tough decisions to make in a few years as his “grand slam” draft will be ready to get paid, especially if they progress on the field. I love what was done with Dougies contract and the floor is absolutely set up for Jason to lessen the damage when/if the Bucs get into salary issues. Licht only gets on chance at it though and one or two bad decisions could easily(and has to countless franchises) destroy the team for years and years……..But who cares, I just wanna win now!!!

    Go BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. tmaxcon Says:

    It’s hard to judge what Gholston is after playing in such an horrific scheme the last two years and having such horrible defensive coaches. I look for a breakout year from Gholston this season with solid coaching and a nfl caliber scheme. I don’t mind a couple roughing penalties here and there from him.

  9. Tom S. Says:

    So, uh Joe, what DE’s that are purely run defending ends in a 4-3 that are getting big paydays?

    Also, how would “todays NFL” -a passing league- be more likely to reward an end who has no history of success rushing the passer than when the league was more run-oriented?

  10. pick6 Says:

    If Gholston’s play jumps up this year and the defense as a whole improves, it might not be surprising for Gholston to suddenly be fielding offers in Malik Jackson territory. Not because he’s one of the best in the NFL, but because after Malik Jackson and Olivier Vernon, that’s what an above average free agent DL under the age of 26 will be going for. Barring injury, he will almost certainly be offered more than Robert Ayers was paid this year, despite much lower career production. Selfishly, I hope he takes one more year to peak as a player, so he’s already under contract when it happens

  11. SB with Jameis Says:

    Nice article Joe!

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Tom S

    In a 3-4 hybrid system Gholstons value is enormous. Just wait, you’ll see.

  13. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Completely disagree Joe. You have too buy low not high. If you sign gholston now you’d be buying low. If you wait til he blows up then you’d be buying high. Obviously the coaches are sold on him and that’s all that should matters opinion wise. So I’d sign him asap..

  14. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Love ill Will, he does get us in trouble with head stomping and kick u while your down penalties, lol, but I don’t mind a little nastyness from this defense because we don’t have enough of it. It does look like we’re starting to bring in more players with sum edge these days. But that was one thing this team sorely lacked in the past. Passion and gritt. Back to will tho, I don’t think he will ever become a dominant pass rusher, but I do think coach Hayes can develop his pass rush a bit more and help him become 6-7 sack guy wich il take all day with all the other pass rushers we already have. He does have the bull rush down, he’s gotta learn 1 more move or so to become better. It will be very interesting to see if Licht forks out the cash to keep him next offseason. We finally have sum pass rushers, so IDK if we can afford to loose our best run stuffer on the team, and one of the best in the league as well.

  15. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The bucs need Gholston ,with the exception of Robert Ayers nobody else has shown the ability to run stop.Would think the run stuffers would be on the field more than the pass rushing specialists.

  16. CalBucsFan Says:

    I don’t care how well Spence & Smith perform, it will be a mistake to let Gholston get away. Already let Bennett get away, let’s not make the same mistake. He is just now coming in to his own and will be a household name in some NFL city for many years to come and it better be in Tampa Bay!

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    First and foremost, a defense has to stop the run, period. All the great pass rushers in the galaxy are worthless if an offence can ram the ball down your throat at will.

    This is what Gholston is most excellent doing: get a team into 3rd & long so the pass rushers can be unleashed.

    How anyone can consider letting that guy get away with his serious skills is beyond me. The guy can play both inside & outside very effectively, another multi-skilled player on the roster offering greater flexibility in schemes.

    Run-stopping DE’s don’t command the same mega-cheese as pass rushers do.

  18. Wausa Says:

    Sign him to a 3 year 15 million extension before camp starts

  19. godzilla13 Says:

    William Gholston is on the brink of being an elite defensive end. He dominated time and time again last year and has progressed every year in the league. The problem is that playing DE, the positions success is based on sacks more than anything else. To put it into perspective Gholston had 3 sacks last year, which is not enough to make him even a great DE, however he produced 10 QB hurries, which was second most on the team, which means he was creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If he can convert half of those hurries into sacks (which would have give him 8 sacks) he is looking at getting a monster contract next year. With the help of Jay Hayes and Robert Ayers he will improve with his pass rush. Pay him now and lock him in.