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March 13, 2011 @ 9:00 am
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Bucs Not Interested In Gholston

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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The Bucs have had success before with getting some productive seasons out of former first-round picks that have been discarded by other teams. But despite the need for a pass rusher, Tampa Bay has no interest in Vernon Gholston.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had some success with reclamation projects in the past, getting useful, productive seasons out of the likes of former nose tackle Chris Hovan, ex-Buccaneers cornerback Philip Buchanon, former wide receiver Antonio Bryant and ex-Buccaneers tight end Jerramy Stevens before parting ways with those players over age, free agency, injury and arrests, respectively. Hovan, Buchanon and Stevens were former first-round picks, while Bryant was a ex-second-rounder.

So a team with pass rushing needs like the Bucs has nothing to lose by taking a chance on 24-year old defensive end Vernon Gholston, a former first-round draft pick of the New York Jets, right?

Not quite. According to sources at One Buccaneer Place, Tampa Bay has no interest in signing Gholston, who was released last week, or even bringing him in for a workout given the bad tape he has put out there since he was the eighth overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft. The former Ohio State star has suited up for 45 games, but has only 42 tackles and just five career starts, including two last year.

Michael Salfino of the Wall Street Journal has researched the fact that Gholston is the only defensive end that was drafted in the top 10 that has failed to record a sack since the league began counting sacks as a statistic in 1982.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Gholston was a defensive end for the Buckeyes but was converted to a stand-up, pass-rushing outside linebacker in New York, which was a mistake as he does not have the agility and speed to play that position. At Ohio State as a defensive end, Gholston totaled 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss and 49 tackles as a junior, and was tied for third in the nation in sacks with 14 as a senior, including a four-sack game against Wisconsin and a three-sack game against Michigan.

Gholston also had 37 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss in 2007 in addition to some success against Michigan left tackle Jake Long, who has become a Pro Bowl left tackle with the Miami Dolphins. In Ohio State’s National Championship loss to LSU during his senior campaign, Gholston had three tackles and a 15-yard sack.

But Gholston’s success in college has not translated at all to the NFL level and the Bucs have seen no indicators on tape that believe that will change. Even though Tampa Bay believes it does not have a starting-caliber defensive end on its roster, Gholston will not be part of the possible solution.

Instead, the Bucs have tendered restricted free agent Stylez G. White, despite the fact he only produced a disappointing 4.5 sacks to lead the team in 2010. Although just because White, who lost his starting job to Michael Bennett at the end of last year, was tendered on offer from the team doesn’t mean that he will necessarily be re-signed.

The Bucs will entertain the idea of keeping restricted free agent Tim Crowder, who was also tendered an offer by the team, in addition to letting Kyle Moore, a fourth-round pick in 2009, Michael Bennett, Alex Magee, George Johnson and Doug Worthington compete for the starting jobs at left and right defensive end. However, Tampa Bay is expected to address the defensive end position early in the 2011 NFL Draft and likely in the first round, in addition to possibly seeking an upgrade in free agency. Yet don’t expect Gholston to be one of those free agent options.
Last modified on Sunday, 13 March 2011 10:09
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    Is that a picture of him almost sacking Matt Schaub? So close. The Bucs must think it's not worth a look. Maybe his complete lack of production in the NFL and a lot of bad tape in college tells them all they need to know. I think he'll get a chance somewhere else and I hope he does well.
  • avatar


    Surferdudes: You and I actually agree with many issues. I didn't blame DeMaurice Smith for his union's past deeds. I blame him for giving a high-five when he chose to give-up instead of negotiate for his players and the good of the entire league with which the NFLPA professes to be partners. That single act sent a message to me that he had no intention of doing anything other than trying to stand up to the evil dragon. The pay for top ten draft choices is, in my view, disrespectful to the players who have actually paid their dues. (no pun intended) It is both the union and the owners who created this system and you and I agree that it is the owners who ultimately write the misdirected checks. My issue with the union here is that they are so quick to support one of their players, like the ones named, who should be an embarrassment to their organization. My related issue with DeMaurice Smith is that there is never a mention of instituting a system where in the extreme cases like the few I mentioned, whereby the owner has even a chance of recouping the millions paid out for a player who simply doesn't want to make an effort. Most people know that the player contracts are back-loaded with never any intention of paying them out which is no surprise when the player signs the contract. I agree that's not right, but Smith doesn't bring that up in negotiations. Like you, I agree that players who far out-play their contract should be rewarded in some fashion but Smith doesn't put that on the table. I believe that a player who is hurt on the field and unable to play should be paid their entire contract and beyond but Smith is silent on that. I believe that some players with ten years or more in the league shouldn't count against the salary cap or roster limit so they can remain with their team in spite of declining skills but no suggestion from Smith. These are just some of the flaws in this system; but I don't see Mr. Smith seeking to correct them. And there lies my point. Smith looks past these issues for which you and I share a common belief that they should be addressed and just keeps wanting to shake the piggy bank.
  • avatar

    Assuming they get thier sh** together and have a training camp, it seemed worth while to see what he could bring as a down lineman in a 4-3. Oh well. They must feel Crowder and Bennett and White etc... have shown as much or more so no reason to bother. Besides, if they have too many DEs then it hinders all their progress. I'll trust them on this one.
  • avatar


    Scubog, you're blaming D Smith for the follies of Al Davis, and Dan Synder amazes me. No one held a gun to their heads and made them over pay for over rated players. Hainesworth had so many question marks about his work ethic he should have to wear a joker costume. Mr Smith didn't set the price for what rookies are paid, the owners did that to themselves, get your facts strait. Yes they did not get the return on their up front money to the players, but unlike most sports NFL owners don't have to guarantee contracts. Is it fair when a player who does perform is cut before he reaches the back end of his loaded contract? Think before you blame someone else for one's own mistakes.
  • avatar


    Surferdudes: You and I actually agree with many issues. I didn't blame DeMaurice Smith for his union's past deeds. I blame him for giving a high-five when he chose to give-up instead of negotiate for his players and the good of the entire league with which the NFLPA professes to be partners. That single act sent a message to me that he had no intention of doing anything other than trying to stand up to the evil dragon. The pay for top ten draft choices is, in my view, disrespectful to the players who have actually paid their dues. (no pun intended) It is both the union and the owners who created this system and you and I agree that it is the owners who ultimately write the misdirected checks. My issue with the union here is that they are so quick to support one of their players, like the ones named, who should be an embarrassment to their organization. My related issue with DeMaurice Smith is that there is never a mention of instituting a system where in the extreme cases like the few I mentioned, whereby the owner has even a chance of recouping the millions paid out for a player who simply doesn't want to make an effort. Most people know that the player contracts are back-loaded with never any intention of paying them out which is no surprise when the player signs the contract. I agree that's not right, but Smith doesn't bring that up in negotiations. Like you, I agree that players who far out-play their contract should be rewarded in some fashion but Smith does put that on the table. I believe that a player who is hurt on the field and unable to play should be paid their entire contract and beyond but Smith is silent on that. I believe that some players with ten years or more in the league shouldn't count against the salary cap or roster limit so they can remain with their team in spite of declining skills but no suggestion from Smith. These are just some of the flaws in this system; but I don't see Mr. Smith seeking to correct them. And there lies my point. Smith looks past these issues for which you and I share a common belief that they should be addressed and just keeps wanting to shake the piggy bank.
  • avatar

    i remember seeing this guy on the sideline when OSU played UF and my ROIDAR was going crazy. Guy was HUGE! Unless he can roid up on Sunday don't bother. By the by, I don't remember him making a play in that game.
  • avatar

    There might be something the Bucs know that we don't because on the surface especially with our track record of trying to resurect the dead in past first rounders it doesn't make sense. I mean we gave Ryan Sims a second chance of all people and then he lasted like 3 yrs which is embarrasing enough.
  • avatar


    Damn. Oh well, we'll end up with a good DE from somewhere.
  • avatar


    Not that it makes any difference, but Vernon Gholston was the 6th, not 8th player taken in 2008 by the Jets. I wonder if DeMaurice Smith and his union offered any type of money back guarantee to compensate the team owners like Woody Johnson (what a great name for a porn star), Al Davis and Dan Spender for paying out millions on players who didn't even come close to deserving their mega-checks. VerNONE Gholston, Jamarcus HUSTLE and Albert HaynesworthLESS are the type of players for which there is no recourse for owners to mitigate their loses due to the up front and other "guaranteed" money. How about "guaranteed performance" Mr. Smith? Of course not, the union actually offers their support to these turds and blocks any attempt by the team owner to recoup. Thank goodness Dominik doesn't need to suit Vernon up in red and pewter to realize he makes Booker Reece look good.
  • avatar


    I wanted to see him get a chance too but Im with you flesh, Dominik has shown a knack for evaluating player so I guess we ought to trust him on this one
  • avatar


    I am all for giving the guy a tryout. How many guys in the last two years have we given chances to tryout solely based on college tape? A good handful. He obviously can't play OLB in a 3-4 but at 24 he has a lot left in the tank and deserves a look. I don't want to second guess this too much cause Dominik has not only a keen eye for talent but also seems to be a good judge of character. Maybe this boils down to Gholston's work ethic, or lack thereof.
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