TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston has signed a five-year contract extension rather than test his worth in free agency.
The versatile fifth-year pro who started 25 games over the past two seasons could earn an average of more than $5 million per year under the terms of a deal Gholston said he "couldn't say no to" on Monday.
The 6-foot-6 lineman, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013, also plays tackle and is considered one of the Bucs' best run-stoppers.
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Gholston was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday. He said he has matured and grown up in the Tampa Bay organization, so he was not eager to start over with another team.
Gholston led Bucs defensive linemen in tackles last season, making 14 starts before missing the final two games with a dislocated elbow. In 57 games, including 36 starts, he has 10 sacks.