“Tampa Bay Wants Him Back”

February 27th, 2017

Giant payday awaits?

One of the biggest decisions on general manager Jason Licht’s giant plate is what to do with part-time defensive end Will Gholston, who could become a free agent in 10 short days.

He could have been re-signed already.

The Panthers, however, just re-signed defensive end Mario Addison, a three-year deal that could be worth up to $25 million, per the reliable BlackandBlueReview.com. Addison, 29, has 22 sacks over the past three seasons, including 9 1/2 last year.

“I think Mario’s a complete defensive end,” Rivera said a day after his team wrapped up the season.

That line stuck with Joe because Joe doesn’t recall a Bucs offical call Gholston “a complete defensive end.”

Gholston, 25, may be the best run-stuffing defensive end in the NFL. At 6-6, 280-plus pounds, tight ends can’t contain him and he is active with excellent instincts in the run game. But as a pass rusher, Gholston doesn’t cut it, which is why he’s only a part-time player.

It’s a unique decision for Licht. What do you pay a run-stuffing, young end in a passing league that pays effective pass rushers a fortune?

NFL Network is reporting Addison got $11.5 million guaranteed in that $8-million-per-year deal. Certainly, Gholston is going to be looking for that kind of money.

In fact, Joe has heard from multiple sources that Gholston’s camp is looking for a payday. Heck, last year, Gholston himself told a Michigan TV station he was gunning for a life-changing contract. Joe can’t blame Gholston one bit.

The sales pitch on Gholston is very strong, as delivered by Gerald McCoy, but is that enough to drop huge cash on him?

Yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, ESPN insider guru Adam Caplan talked about Gholston (shocking since he wasn’t asked) and said “Tampa Bay wants him back.” Caplan basically painted Gholston as the second best defensive end potentially hitting free agency, with Jason Pierre-Paul being No. 1.

Joe hoped Caplan wasn’t taking that evaluation from a quality source. If so, Gholston might have a new team next week.

30 Responses to ““Tampa Bay Wants Him Back””

  1. Buc1987 Says:


  2. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Like most people, I’m not extremely high on Gholston because of his obvious weakness in his pass rush game. However, we all saw what happened in the run game when he missed the last couple games of the season. Hell, as soon as he went out against Dallas, you could immediately see the difference. Sometimes you just have to overpay guys that fit an important need, and this just might be the case with Gholston.
    Or you have to have better depth. The Bucs ran out undrafted rookies to replace Gholston on the edge. –Joe

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    I would like to see who the good run stuffing DTs in FA are first, bit it’s hard to think of letting Will go.

  4. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Keep him if possible, but don’t pay him like a pass rusher.

  5. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Resign him, have him play predominantly on 1st and 2nd downs with Rob Ayers on the other side.

    Then sign/ draft another pass rusher to pair with Noah Spence on obvious passing downs.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    Might have to let him test the market to see what his value is before resigning him. I really like Gholston but recently read an article where the author suggested that Tampa should let Gholston walk and look to sign a guy like Melvin Ingram out of SD or JPP. I’m torn on that idea because I feel that Gholston is a Buc whereas FA’s are sometimes just with their new team for a payday but their heart may be some place else. Tough decision for Licht.

  7. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Blake, I think if Jacques Smith can stay healthy, he can be the guy on the other side of Spence.

  8. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Blake, I agree that we should still draft anther DE at some point.

  9. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    hope we resign and I don’t care what they pay him I feel he’s going to be a great player imo

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Really hard to understand what’s so difficult about this decision. It’s not like the Bucs have quality DEs coming out the whazoo. Under contract we’ve got Robert Ayers … 31 (probably here for 1-2 more yrs). And Noah Spence … 23 (pass rushes Ok; run defense could use work). And Jack Smith … 26 (pass rush very good; run defense meh; problem is he gets injured to often). And Howard Jones … 27 (OK pass rush; run defense meh; also gets injured too often). And George Johnson, John Hughes, Channing Ward & Ryan Russell (not exactly household names). Will Gholston is home-grown, young, got 2nd-most snaps on the DLine (not bad for a part-timer Joe), and plays the run as well as any DE in the NFL. Reasons I think that Will doesn’t have beaucoup sacks is because (1) he’s used largely on running downs as opposed to passing downs; (2) he “stays home’ on those run plays to seal off and protect his end; and (3) he also plays the interior positions, which is nice for team flexibility but again won’t lead to a bunch of sacks. If the Bucs let Gholston ‘test the FA water’ they’ll lose him (other teams need DEs as badly as we do & will pay him. Bucs run defense is already suspect for this coming season. Jason, don’t screw around like your predecessor did with Michael Bennett … PAY THE MAN!

  11. Not there yet Says:

    Trust the process. Except for a couple draft picks Licht has thrown away he’s proven he can find talent. It’s a sad day in Tampa when the media and fans talk as if it’s that hard to replace a guy who is great against the run and below average pass rusher. 8 million a year for a guy who you can’t count on to get to the quarterback is a waste. Jac smith and Spence are designated pass rushers, maybe Spence bulks up or just maybe he’s hit his ceiling and you move on. He was a 5th round pick in sure we can find someone to match his production

  12. USFBUC Says:

    Yeah this is a tough call. I am inclined to think we can replace Gholston but the question is if that replacement is any better. To me the only real DEs are JPP and Campbell.

  13. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Look at his numbers they are very good except the sacks! Let’s keep and pay our own players look at the bums we have paid and cut from other teams! He’s young and will get better every year.

  14. captjimbo Says:

    If there is one there worth the pick and I think there will be I’m picking DE in the first round. Offer Slick Willie a fair deal and let the chips fall where they may. It’d be great to have him back but there’s no need to overpay.

  15. Mojiska Says:

    He is a solid player, put him in on the end on running situations and move him inside on passing downs. you sign poe to play the dt on run downs and replace him with gholston on passing downs. Keeps Spence fresh to only rush passer, and he will be the replacement for ayers when he retires. Hopefully by then we can have a 3 down end (maybe Spence, maybe another draft pick in the next 2 years). Personally I view top 5-6 dl as starters, same as nickel cb. You need a rotation to win.

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    Not signing him is a backwards step. If he is allowed to walk then I will call bullsh!t on whatever Lichts reasoning is for letting him go. He was a project when they drafted him and he is still on the upswing of his career.
    He’s a perfect multi-scheme player. When you have $70+ million in cap space there is no reason to allow home grown talent to get away.
    However I will understand Gholston’s side of things if he isn’t shown the love from the organization. It’s got to eat at some of these guys to see their teammates cash big checks without production while they trudge along doing the dirty work. I could see Gholston being more sought after than Calais Campbell just based on how many productive years he has left to play comparably.

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    Also, mark my words, this will be GMC’s last year as a Buc. When they release him next year they aren’t going to want bare cupboards to eat out of.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m sorry, but $8 million for a part-time player who’s best attribute is in the run-game in a pass happy NFL is just not worth it. We need to stop being desperate. His run defense “prowess” can be substituted by blitzing.

  19. pick6 Says:

    one is a “complete defensive end” that occasionally collides with the QB. the other is a “complete defensive end” who just posted a sack total this franchise hasn’t seen since michael bennet. in the reductive world of NFL contracts, Gholston is a tier below Addison in terms of value

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    Gholston is not worth more than $5M per. If his (agent’s) intention is to push for $7-8M per year on a multi year deal -then the Bucs need to let him test the market. Gholston is a good player and an asset to our team – but if he’s intent on getting over paid in FA – then the Bucs should NOT be the ones to do it.

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    If 8 sacks and 25 tackles is worth $14 million anually, then 4 sacks and 40 tackles is worth $8 million anually.
    I do not understand the backwards thinking on this site.

    If anyone knows if there’s a website that breaks down how many actually snaps each player has I would love to see it so I can pro-rate some of these stats comparably. If Gholston is indeed a part time player then I would love to see his stats broken down compared to our “fulltime” players.

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    According to Football Outsiders, McCoy was 1st on the team among DL playing 74% of the defensive stats, Gholston was 2nd with 55%.
    So, by Joe’s rationale we better not be resigning any of our current D-linemen when their contracts expire because they’re all “part time” players, other than McCoy, who in 200 more snaps is only able to muster 3 or 4 more sacks per year playing at the 3-tech position that is designed to give DT’s an advantage getting to the QB.
    This data is not reflective of how the defense is run when the D-line is healthy. Look at snaps during the team’s five-game winning streak. –Joe

  23. Tom S. Says:

    It would be very odd in a passing league which has significantly devalued the running game and running backs (to include their contracts) to give out a big contract to a player who is not any good at rushing the passer and is exclusively a run-down defensive end.

    Gholston is a part-timer because you aren’t going to throw him out there when you know the other team is passing. If the Bucs start to become an perrenial winner then you are going to have teams throw to play catch-up in the second half of most games. And Gholston is going to be riding the pine in those situations, not what you want a big-contract player to be doing.

  24. Issic Haggins Says:

    Ok here we go with the again and again and the again with the popular BS slogan of we are going to build through the Draft. Gholston is a drafted player and is a dam good player and a very very versatile player and let’s make this FRICKEN CLEAR , you have to have the talent to recognize talent and resign players early and Gholston is just that type of player !!! If your not resigning players early you just simply don’t have the nose to do so and this is why Gholston will get 6/ 7 mil a year 11( gar) and cost the Bucs 2 mil more against the Cap anyway you cut it. Next ,you must have the organization that keeps these players going after these big deals ( the Bucs did that during their Super Bowl run) . Licht has done a little bit of this but he isn’t as good at it as he needs to be as he just flushed cap money by not getting this done in Sept/ Oct . Over the coarse of 5 years this is equal to another Robert Ayers and a Martelus Bennet on your roster or two Brent Grimes and that is a big deal !! Only three or four players from a draft are on a roster after three or four years, SO how in the hell can you build through the draft if you don’t find a way to re sign the Will Gholstons ,it’s very important to know your talent and resign them EARLY !!! What this does : Increases or helps : Scheme Familiarity, Cap Space ,Team Cohesivness and Building through the Draft !!! Go Bucs !!

  25. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    @gotbbucs don’t worry about it Joe is just a a@shole and if you don’t suck his di@k he can’t take it! Screw him and his TMZ mentality

  26. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Scotty, you’re about to be banned in 3…2…1…

  27. Destinjohnny Says:

    4.5 million a year

  28. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I think he could get 7 or 8 just because of his age and teams will think potential.

  29. Another J Says:

    I like Will, but We shouldn’t break the bank for a part time defensive end, that can’t sniff the quarterback.

    $5 or $6 million a year for 3 years, team option for the 3rd year.

    Not a penny more.

  30. Bob in valrico Says:

    If you do not get anybody better to replace him ,then we should keep him.
    He is the protection for all other DE’s except Robert Ayers that are not ready tp play full time according to Joe’s definition.Spence may become a better run stopper in time,but he is not there yet. He will be coming off shoulder surgery
    and it is unknown how long it will take to play at a high level again.Jaquis
    Smith has had a series of injuries that make his future questionable longterm.