Bucs land 'gem' in Niners S Goldson
It took a little convincing -- and pile of money -- to get safety Dashon Goldson to leave the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers and fly cross country to sign with the upstart Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
But the Bucs have been sold on Goldson for several years.
A year ago, general manager Mark Dominik attempted to trade for Goldson prior to the draft after he had been franchised by the Niners. On Wednesday, they signed him to a 5-year, $41.25-million contract ($22-million guaranteed), sold on the fact he will help them improve the worst pass defense in the NFL.
“I think he was one of the gems of this entire free agent class,'' Dominik said. "I absolutely do. And I think he’s viewed, unilaterally as one of the best safeties in the National Football League, clearly by the All Pro, the Pro Bowls and obviously the success he’s had the last two years with his football team.
"He is unique and a gem and it was a tough battle to get him here but I’m excited he’s here. I think that’s why we were excited to add him since obviously secondary is a place where we felt like we needed to continue to improve from a personnel standpoint and any time you can add a guy that’s been to two Pro Bowls, that worked very well for Vincent Jackson last year and I believe it will work the same for him this year.''
Goldson, 28, is known as an enforcer in the secondary with ball skills. He had 69 tackles with three interceptions and a forced fumble in 2012 and was named to his second straight NFC Pro Bowl team.
Goldson said he also did his homework on the Bucs.
“I did some research man,'' Goldson said. "I was sitting down with my agent, trying to figure out where was my correct fit, just to my style of play, my mindset. Tampa came on my radar. Fortunately, I was able to see a couple of their games and their style of play and I fit well in this scheme. I think it’s a good opportunity and this team is definitely on the upcoming. It’s a young football team and I like to consider myself a seasoned vet and I’d like to think I can bring a lot to this team for leadership and just my presence in that backfield with the rest of the secondary.''
Goldson will be teamed at safety with Mark Barron, the Bucs first-round pick from Alabama in 2012. Schiano said Goldson will help fortify the Bucs' aggressive approach on defense while setting the template in terms of preparation for young players.
“This guy is what we need on the Bucs,'' Schiano said. "Mark said it, we’ve had our eye on him for awhile. Certainly, when you watch his tape, you see it as a coach, these are the things you want in your safety. But as important, or more importantly, when you had a chance to sit down and visit with him finally, he understands exactly as a head coach what I’m looking for and he’s going to come in here and be a leader and be a guy that understands what it takes to be a championship football team and that’s what we’re going to do.''