Safety Dashon Goldson
should provide some help to 2012 first round pick Mark Barron
in the Bucs' backfield. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the No. 7 pick in last April's draft on safety Mark Barron. Wednesday, they found him some help in the secondary, agreeing to a five-year deal with former 49er Dashon Goldson.
The Buccaneers headed into free agency with upwards of $30 million available under the cap, coupled with a need to improve on a pass defense that was worst in the league last season. Goldson certainly should help with the latter -- and it was that extra cash that helped pry him away from San Francisco. Goldson reportedly received a five-year deal worth $41.25 million, $22 million of which will be guaranteed.
For the Bucs, with all that money to spend, Goldson's contract may not cause too much stress. However, that $8.25 million per-year average is the third-highest number for any safety in the league.
Can Goldson live up to that contract?
While Goldson, who will turn 29 in mid-September, picked off 14 passes over the past four season in San Francisco, he struggled down the stretch in coverage -- particularly in the NFC title game against Atlanta.
Tampa Bay will need him to be much better than that to free up Barron. And it's worth pointing out that Tampa Bay's cornerbacks remain a relative weak spot, increasing the pressure on Goldson deep.
That said, Goldson often did yeoman's work for the 49ers, both before and during 2012. He absolutely upgrades Tampa Bay's defense.
Goldson and Barron are going to hammer offenses from the Tampa Bay secondary. Grade dropped a tad because o the money Tampa Bay had to spend, but the Buccaneers had the wiggle room to make an aggressive move.