Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trying to keep ‘The Band’ together
A stalwart defender for the Buccaneers
William Gholston is another player that Bucs Nation would hate to see sail away to other shores. He’s been called upon to fill in for injuries or rotations as necessitated. And he’s done a great job at it as well.
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When Will Gholston comes in the game, there seems to be very little noticeable drop off in production from the front 3 or 4. He has even recorded 3 sacks and 44 tackles, 24 of which were solo in 2020. Will’s experience allows him to contribute beyond what is asked of him in each and every game. Losing Will would be a pretty decent blow, but unless he can work out a deal that’s maybe more incentive-based, or back-end loaded for the $5.5 million due to him this year, he may be embarking on another journey as well.
Now the player I think is in the most danger of being lost on this list is Rakeem Nunez-Roches. As Vita Vea’s backup, he was thrust into with starting roll after Vita went down for the rest of the regular season with a broken leg in week 5 against Da Bears. Although he wasn’t Vita, Rakeem did a smash-up good job shoring up the D-line. Sure production dropped, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Credit Rakeem for being about as good of a backup to Vita Vea as one could be.
He will most likely be demanding more money this year, especially to make up for the fact he was a starter getting paid as a backup, for 11 games in 2020. He may be asking for double of last year, which may still be workable, since he was getting $1.5M. I could see him doing a $2M base with incentives of up to $1M more. That may make sense since he most likely would be relegated back to backup now that Vita is healthy again, but is that more than the Bucs can afford on a backup?
Then let’s not forget about soon-to-be 2nd year man Khalil Davis who could take a leap this year if given the opportunity. We also may have Steve McLendon, Jeremiah Ledbetter, and Patrick O’Connor, who would most likely be affordable backup options, not to mention any high DL draftees the Bucs could land if either or both Will and Rakeem aren’t in red and pewter this year.