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Dashon Goldson: Potential Redskins Target?

The Redskins need help in the secondary to say the least. Could Dashon Goldson be the answer?

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Jim Rogash

It’s possible that the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers will let starting free safety Dashon Goldson walk this offseason. Goldson reportedly does not wish to be franchise tagged like he was in 2011, and would stay in San Francisco for a long-term deal only. As of now, the 49ers find themselves about $2 million under the cap, but will have to address other players whose salaries are set to increase next season.

This-- and you knew it was coming-- opens up the possibility of Goldson hitting the open market. The Redskins are in the market for secondary help, as they had tremendous issues at safety last season, which is putting it in the friendliest way possible. For example, the safety position alone accounted for 35 missed tackles, and 17 of them were from Madieu Williams alone. That’s Tanard Jackson territory.

Goldson is a big hitter, but not a sure tackler, so he wouldn’t really eliminate this problem. But he could help in pretty much every other area of the game. He’s a bit of a gambler and has a penchant for coming up with the football, although he didn’t match his great turnover numbers from 2011, where he picked-off six passes. What he did match, was forcing a fumble and defensed 10 throws that came toward him, according to Pro Football Reference.

Furthermore, Pro Football Focus ranked Goldson 10th overall in the NFL in coverage grades, and quarterbacks threw for a rating of 44.1 when targeting Goldson in coverage. That mark again puts him in the top 10. In terms of those statistics, 2012 was Goldson’s best season by far.

The issue with Goldson coming to Washington, like many things, is money. In the past, Goldson indicated his ideal contract stands at five years and $40 million, which puts him at about what San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle is getting paid. Goldson is not Eric Weddle, but that doesn’t mean one team won’t think he’s deserving of a similar contract. With the Redskins in their own private salary-cap hell, they would have to restructure and perhaps sacrifice quite a bit to get a player of Goldson’s caliber.

Goldson may not be worth what he would want from the Redskins, despite little doubt that he would improve the secondary. But the way the Redskins secondary played last season, almost anything would be an improvement. Championship teams aren’t built overnight, and instead of finding an ideal fit at safety, maybe it’s in the Redskins best interest to just find a capable one first while they can afford one. Then worry about taking the next step once they have the footing to do so.