Giants Named Fit for Super Bowl-Winning Free Agent After A’Shawn Robinson Departure

Dexter Lawrence and A'Shawn Robinson

Getty The New York Giants should sign some defensive line help for Dexter Lawrence after A'Shawn Robinson (91) left in free agency.

Defensive tackle was already a position of need before A’Shawn Robinson left in 2024 NFL free agency, something the New York Giants can fix by signing Super Bowl winner William Gholston.

The latter is one of the best bargains still available to the Giants on the veteran market, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic. Duggan wrote that the veteran who lifted the Lombardi Trophy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cap the 2020 season “has been a quality run defender throughout his career and could fit into a rotation.”

Citing free-agency rankings from his colleague Randy Mueller, Duggan also explained that 32-year-old “Gholston has experience playing three-technique in a base 3-4 defense, which is what new Giants defensive coordinator Shane Bowen deploys.”

Both the scheme fit and Gholston’s strength against the run should appeal to the Giants. They lost both things when Robinson signed a three-year contract with the Carolina Panthers in mid-March.

A’Shawn Robinson Departure Further Weakens Thin Position

Robinson joining a new team further weakened an already threadbare rotation for the Giants’ defensive front. As Duggan pointed out, there’s only Rakeem Nunez-Roches and second-year pro Jordon Riley behind All-Pro Dexter Lawrence II.

Like Lawrence, Riley and Nunez-Roches are better suited at nose tackle. The Giants need somebody who can play in the gaps next to guards or head-up over offensive tackles.

Gholston has been doing both for 11 seasons in Tampa. He’s credited by ESPN with 57.5 run stuffs during his lengthy career.

No. 92 also appeared in all 16 games when the 2019 Bucs allowed just 3.3 yards per carry. Gholston was on the field for every game a year later when the eventual champion Buccaneers yielded 3.6 yards per rushing attempt.

While he won’t ever dominate the stat sheet, Gholston’s presence makes a run defense stout because of his ability to move the line of scrimmage. It’s what he did on this play against the Indianapolis Colts in 2021, highlighted by Aaron Day of DLineVids.

Being able to control blockers is how 3-4 defensive linemen create plays for others. It’s what Robinson brought to the trenches in an unheralded but vital role last season.

A’Shawn Robinson Added Muscle to Soft Run Defense

The Giants have been surprisingly soft against the run in recent seasons, despite the presence of a game-wrecker like Lawrence. Big Blue’s defense surrendered 4.7 yards per carry in 2023 and 5.2 a year earlier.

Any marginal improvement last season can be attributed to Robinson. The 28-year-old got onto the field for 515 snaps, according to Fox Sports’ John Ellis, who highlighted this run stuff against  Alvin Kamara and the New Orleans Saints in Week 15.

Robinson offered size inside, something 6-foot-6 Gholston can replace. The latter remains effective between the tackles after playing 129 run-defense snaps last season, per Pro Football Focus, for a unit that gave up just 3.8 yards per carry.

Gholston would be a cost-effective addition at a position of need for the Giants after earning $2,667,500 in base salary last season, according to The team already appears to be searching out bargains on defense, with All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White set for a visit.

Adding Gholston to the schedule as a potential replacement for Robinson would make a lot of sense.

Read More