Bucs Gm Jason Licht was smart to quickly resign his biggest 2017 free agent in punter Bryan Anger to a new 5 year deal that makes him one of the highest paid in the league. Now Mr. Licht needs to turn his attention to one of the most important defensive lineman on this team and that is Will Gholston. Gholston started in the NFL at the young age of 20 and was very raw as he had plenty of size and athleticism but no technique or consistency. Now at 25, Gholston has become one of the better run stopping defensive ends in the league and continues to get better each year as a pass rusher.
Gholston is homegrown talent as he has really become a staple in the community as well as one of the young leaders on defense. It is just hard to find a defensive end that is 6’6 280 and can run down a running back sideline to sideline. Due to his massive frame he doesn’t get much leverage coming off the edge but has done a better job of playing to his strengths which is power game. The last two seasons combined Gholston has 116 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 force fumbles, and plenty of tackles for loss. Licht doesn’t let homegrown talent go and has shown in his time here as Gm that he rewards those who earn it. Gholston wants to be a buc and I expect the Bucs to make resigning him a big priority this off-season.
Gholston provides great versatility along the front four as he can play inside or outside as well as depth. Having a rotation of Gholston, Spence, Ayers and if healthy Jack Smith gives this team four quality ends which most teams can’t say they have. Gholston should get a nice raise but nothing drastic as I see him getting anywhere from 3 to 5 million per year due to his production and age. The best news about Gholston is that there is untapped potential so he could still become a better player which is scary. I believe Gholston will be one of the first to resign back with the Bucs and Jason Licht will have a big smile on his face.