TAMPA – The Buccaneers have made defensive end Will Gholston a happy man. They’ve made him a rather wealthy one, too.
According to ESPN the contract Gholston will sign later today is a five-year deal worth $27.5 million that includes another $9 million in incentives.
Not bad for a two-down player, but make no mistake, there’s more to Will Gholston than meets the eye.
Gholston is a very versatile player, one capable of playing either left or right end and defensive tackle.
He fills a valuable need on a defense that got better as the season progressed last year and Gholston was a big part of that.
No, Gholston has never put up big sack numbers but there was a reason that re-signing him was a top priority for the Bucs.
Bucs five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been predicting stardom for Gholston for a while.
Given the contract they signed him to, which includes $13 million of guaranteed payouts, it seems the Bucs feel he’ll do the same.
The bottom line is, it’s all on Gholston now. He’s earned his first big contract as an NFLer. Now he has to prove he’s worth it.
How can he do that. Well, he doesn’t have to record 12 sacks a year. Gholston’s not that kind of player.
What he does have to do is improve the Bucs as run stoppers and get them consistently into the top 10 in the league in that area.
If he can do that and create enough havoc for McCoy and other pass rusher to make plays in the passing game he’ll earn the money he now has coming to him.