Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Presented by

Will Gholston Returns for 11th Season with Bucs

Will Gholston, originally a fourth-round pick by the Buccaneers in 2013, signed a new one-year deal on Tuesday, the same day that veteran players reported for the start of training camp

WILL 16x9

On Tuesday, defensive lineman Will Gholston joined the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' veteran players as they reported to the AdventHealth Training Center, marking the 11th straight summer he has shown up for training camp in Tampa. However, he had one little piece of business to take care of first: signing a new contract.

Gholston and the Buccaneers agreed to a one-year pact on Tuesday, keeping the steadfast defensive lineman with the only NFL team for which he's ever played. The former Michigan State standout first arrived in Tampa as a fourth-round draft pick in 2013. The Buccaneers had an open spot on the 90-man camp roster after waiving rookie inside linebacker Jeremy Banks on Monday.

This is the fourth contract that Gholston has signed with the Buccaneers, following his original four-year rookie deal in 2013, a new five-year pact in 2017 and a one-year deal in 2022. He ranks ninth in team history with 153 games played – the most ever by a defensive lineman for the franchise – and could move as high as sixth on that list by the end of the 2023 season. Though it took an 11th-hour signing, the Buccaneers had been aiming to bring Gholston back throughout the offseason.

"He's a player that we all like," said General Manager Jason Licht. "He's been a steady player for a long time for us. It's hard to imagine going through a season without Will, here in the building and on the sidelines. What a consummate pro he is, and he still has some gas in the tank. We've been talking with him throughout the whole process, that it might come down to this date, and it just worked out for both of us. We know Will keeps in shape and he's going to be ready to go. He's going to add a lot to the D-Line room, whether he's playing in a rotation, whether he's starting, whatever it is."

Gholston has started 87 of those 153 games, including 49 in four seasons since the arrival of Todd Bowles, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach last year. Gholston's career totals include 401 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 58 tackles for loss, 77 quarterback hits, 12 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Gholston's return provides additional depth to a defensive front that is undergoing some changes in 2023. Veterans Akiem Hicks and Rakeem Nunez-Roches did not return for the 2023 season but the Bucs used their first-round pick on pass-rushing interior lineman Calijah Kancey and later used third and sixth-round draft picks, respectively, on edge rushers Yaya Diaby and Jose Ramirez. The team will likely also find a bigger role this season for top 2022 draft pick Logan Hall along the interior front.

Related Content

Latest Headlines