TAMPA, Fla. -- There’s been some talk on local radio that safety Dashon Goldson has been an expensive free-agent bust.
It’s true Goldson has missed three games (two with an injury and one for a suspension). It’s also true Goldson has only one interception. But I don’t agree with the bust label and neither do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“In my opinion, he’s definitely worth the investment,’’ coach Greg Schiano said. “Yeah, I’d do it over again in a heartbeat.’’
The Bucs gave Goldson a five-year deal worth $41.25 million to lure him away from the San Francisco 49ers (the team Tampa Bay plays on Sunday). Goldson was in the Super Bowl last season, but he landed with a team that started 0-8.
“I don’t regret my decision to come here at all,’’ Goldson said. “I think I’m in a great place. I’m happy to be here and I’m locked down for a couple more years that I’m excited about. I dealt with some injuries. I had an MCL that kept me out for a couple of weeks and that was hard. Facing suspension was harder. It was hard to get your mind set bouncing from an injury to a suspension.’’
I don’t think Goldson has been a bust because of the intangibles he brought. He instantly became a leader, and that was reinforced when his teammates elected him a captain.
“I think he’s meant a lot for our entire team,’’ Schiano said. “I think he’s brought leadership and a sense of confidence into our secondary and into our whole locker room. He’s a popular guy on the team.’’
With Goldson, it’s about more than popularity.
“What an intense, intense competitor he is,’’ Schiano said. “What a really bright guy he is. A good guy. You never know when you meet a guy on a recruiting trip. 'Yeah, he seems like a good guy,' because we all have our best foot forward. But he really is a good guy, a good team and a guy that’s fun to coach.’’
Football’s the ultimate team game. Yes, Goldson has only one interception. But I think his presence (along with that of cornerback Darrelle Revis) is a big reason why the Bucs went from being the league’s worst pass defense last year to leading the NFL in interceptions this season.