About the author

Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. 1

    David DeLeon

    Nice, together with another year under the belt of Spence it’s going to be a good year.

  2. 2


    Not a fan of Gholston’s he is very good against the run but a ghost in pass rush downs I wonder if this means they are no longer pursuing Calais Campbell who is head and shoulder above Gholston?

    1. 2.1


      You mean the same guy who’s never had a double digit sack season? So how’s he head and shoulders above will outside of experience?

      1. 2.1.1


        McCoy has never had double digit sacks either but he is also head and shoulders above, Calais is a pro bowler I don’t know if you knew that but I guess I will explain why a probowl DT is better than Gholston, let me see 7-9 sacks a yr for last 10 yrs for a DT is pretty good in todays NFL at the top of his peers for that he is a better run defender and he tips and bats down passes at least once a game, Gholston while good against the run had only 3 which is the most he ever had in a season while Campbell had 8 last yr, Campbell has 29 sacks in last 4 yrs Gholston has 10 get it?



          Gholston last yr 30 combined tackles Campbell 53



          Well, no knocking Calais Campbell, but his cap number averaged $15M a year the last two years, nearly three times what Will Gholston is getting on his new contract at base amounts. Even if Will earns all the incentives, he’ll still be less than half of Campbell’s cap number at AZ.

          Seems that Will is a valuable member of the team who is being compensated appropriately.

          Maybe Will is a “Chevy” and Calais is a “Mercedes” as defensive ends … as long as we’re not overpaying for the Chevy, then what is your issue?



          Campbell is also 5 years older Jon, it’s called experience, understand? We get that you’re a huge cardinals fan, but the price is Campbell for what would be in essence a two year deal would cost twice as much as will. It yeah let’s let our own draft picks walk so we can sign another 30 year old. Thank goodness you don’t run the team.



            And for the record I’m not saying don’t sign Campbell, but cutting our own youth would be stupid. you have to reward your draft picks.



            I am no homer there are Cards Players I think are garbage and Bucs Players I think are garbage so don’t refer to me as a “homer” everyone outside of Tampa in NFL Circles knows Calais is a much better player than Will Gholdston you can compare Calais numbers his first 4 yrs of playing if you like it doesn’t matter, Gholston will never get 9 sacks a yr or 53-60 tackles a yr like Calais much less make a pro bowl I agree with the analogy used by Naplesfan Calais is a “Cadillac” and Gholdston is a “Chevy” pretty spot on if you ask me



            Of course you have to pay more for pro bowl players who cares that he costs more Calais next to McCoy yikes that’s scary McCoy next to Gholdston we already know that result



            SO because you think player on teams are bad that doesn’t make you a homer? Well there are quite a few FSU players i think aren’t good so don’t ever call me a homer again. It goes both ways, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it.
            And for the record, inform me where in my sentences above that I said Will was better than Campell, since you’re just making up stuff I said at this point.
            And since you also are psychic enough to know that Will will never get 9 sacks, tell me how many wins we’ll have next year.
            Campell is good, but you’re completely missing my point, we don’t need to throw all kinds of money around, which will be an additional 12 mill a year minimum for him, when we have other guys coming back off of injury as well.
            Heck the Bucs might sign him, and if they do , great, he’d probably play tackle for us more than end and he can rotate spots. Just don’t see the need to spend that much money , when the following next year is going to be very expensive for us.



            Never said anything about you as a homer in this particular comment ha you referred to me as a “huge Cards Fan” meaning I give love to Calais or something which couldn’t be further from truth and if you want a pro bowl player you pay or you won’t get him. I hope Calais resigns with Cards ha I hope Bucs sign Desean Jackson to tell you the truth

  3. 3


    Congrats, Will! This is a good move and I love the idea of keeping the core of the team together as opposed to bringing in a bunch of FAs to try to make a team.

  4. 4


    Never had a doubt! Will is a good young DE (25) that is still developing. I have no problem with the terms of the deal as #1 DEs are commanding 13-15mil a year. Congrats Will!

  5. 5


    Very good deal for Will and the Buccaneers. Keeping their own young developing players they like is a must for successful teams.
    Well done!

  6. 6


    I like the combination of guaranteed money and performance incentives. Will is a solid player and we needed him. Maybe we can add another pass rusher in the draft too, as the talent in this class is pretty deep.

    1. 6.1


      I love the contract, didn’t overlay and with incentives he can get some extra cash. Great signing for us to keep our guys.

  7. 7


    5.5M base salary is not bad for him and if he starts getting to the QB with more consistency the 7M will prove to be a bargain, good deal.

  8. 8

    Honey Bear

    Another fantastic salary job by the Bucs. Gholston definitely deserves the $5.5 base, and hopefully will be even hungrier on the field to reach those monetary incentives. He continues to get better, and will be a staple of the line for years as long as he can stay healthy. I think this was a better decision than pursuing Calais Campbell, who is a similar player that has reached his ceiling at age 30, and would have commanded a salary twice that of Gholston.

    1. 8.1


      Gholston better option than Campbell? haha ok Homer central comment nobody outside of Tampa would agree with that comment

      1. 8.1.1


        Honey Bear didn’t say Gholston is a better player than Campbell. He said he thinks this was a better decision than pursuing Campbell, who is a much older and much more experienced player.

        It’s a value decision, not an absolute worth decision. You may disagree with Honey Bear, which is fine as far as opinions go.

      2. 8.1.2

        Honey Bear

        I don’t think Gholston is better right now. I think the signing is better, both for value, and for potential.

  9. 9


    Not sure why people are viewing it as Will Gholston OR Calais campbell and not us potentially signing them both. Will is a run stuffing DE that is still developing a pass rush. Campbell is a DT in our scheme who can rush the passer and push the pocket which we need after watching Atlanta, the Saints, Cardinals and Cowboys run the ball down our throats. Campbell should be viewed as an upgrade for Spence who should not be resigned not as the alternative if we didnt bring back Will.

    1. 9.1

      Honey Bear

      I don’t think Calais would be interested in signing here now that we have our D-line set with Ayers, Noah Spence, McCoy, Gholston, and the return of Smith and Jones. I see what you’re saying about DT, but I’m not sure he would want to line up there. I think Gholston and Ayers could both rotate inside already. But we will see. It wouldn’t hurt to have more depth and quality!

  10. 11


    Glad they resigned him. Young and has more upside to improve. Sets a positive attitude for the Buc’s organization when they resign their own. Like to see Spence resigned also.

  11. 12


    Glad to hear this!!! We should still go after Campbell. Then cut Spence ( not Noah ). McCoy and Campbell up the middle with McDonald in reserve. That would be a awesome. Gholston can be played out or inside. With N. Spence and Smith rushing outside we’d be great.

  12. 13


    Seems like a decent deal for Gholston. Like Chet’s idea of still going after Campbell because let’s face it McCoy just can’t stay healthy….plus Campbell would really help this D line for 2-3 years.

    1. 13.1


      Plus we’d be awesome!!!!!

  13. 14


    I’m not a fan of Gholston but I don’t think we overpaid for him based on what other DE’s are getting in FA.
    Gholston was a 4th round pick. I think you can easily find another DE in the 4th round of the draft that can stop the run and not rush the passer just as well as Gholston. That’s like it’s also easy to find a TE in the 4th round that can block and isn’t a threat in the passing game…oh wait. I digress though, the reason this signing doesn’t bother me that much is the salary cap is so high and we are so far under it that I’m alright spending ~$5.5 million a year on a guy like Gholston. It essentially saves a draft pick while losing money we can afford to throw away.

  14. 15


    Great move, we’ll get just about the same production from a player 5 years Campbell’s junior for 1/3 the cap hit. I’d like to see them keep Akeem Spence as well, he can plug the middle for a value pricetag. McCoy, Noah Spence, and Smith will provide the pass rush we need and we still have the personnel available to rotate spots as needed

    1. 15.1


      that said, I wouldn’t be totally against still pursuing Campbell on a 2-3 year deal. As long as the big cap hit comes off the books in time to resign Jameis and Kwon to new deals. We have the cap space so may as well use it while we still have it

  15. 16


    Will’s a solid player, still young, and the contract fits. Not every player we sign, or bring back will be a pro bowler. If fans have that expectation, you’re going to be disappointed. Remember also, signing Will doesn’t mean the Bucs won’t go after Campbell. We’re still thin on the D line, and you can’t have enough depth there as we saw the drop off in run D when Will was lost for the season.

  16. 17


    I believe this is a good contract for Will, Bucs, and us fans! Go Bucs!

  17. 18


    Well said surferdudes. With Gholston out against the Cowboys and Saints we all should have taken notice that his absence was being exploited. We all tend to judge D-line play solely by the number of sacks. Starting defenders probably are involved in over 600 plays, of which at least 300 are pass rush opportunities. We think getting 6 sacks is sufficient and 12 gets one into the Pro Bowl. Pretty small percentage.

    It must be remembered, that at a mere 25 years old, Will Gholston is just now entering the first part of his prime, not exiting the last stage. Certainly the keen observer has seen his improvement over his short time here. He will probably never be an elite pass rusher getting 8-10 QB take-downs every year, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be an important piece of the defensive “family” by getting 3-6 collars and a bunch of tackles for loss on 1st and 2nd down which can set the table for the pass rushers on 3rd down.

    This is how championship teams are built, draft, develop and retain your own.

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