TAMPA, Fla. -- As it turns out, Dashon Goldson's greatest strength might be his biggest weakness.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Goldson as a free agent largely because of his reputation as a big hitter. There’s no doubt Tampa Bay needed to be a little more physical in the defensive backfield after ranking last in the league in pass defense last year.
But Goldson went a little too far. Goldson has been suspended without pay (that comes to $265,000) for one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on New Orleans running back Darren Sproles, according to Adam Schefter.
There’s no doubt that the fact that this is Goldson’s 15th personal foul since 2010 had a lot to do with the severity of his discipline. Goldson was fined $30,000 for a similar hit in the season opener against the New York Jets.
There’s a very fine line between being aggressive and going overboard with hits. This hit and the one against the Jets didn’t seem intentional. But Goldson needs to realize the NFL is enforcing different rules in an era when concussions have been a major issue. Five or 10 years ago, Goldson wouldn’t have been suspended or even fined. But times have changed and Goldson has to change.
His suspension is a big blow to the Bucs as they go up against New England quarterback Tom Brady. Ahmad Black is a competent backup, but he’s not nearly on Goldson’s level. When Goldson comes back, he needs to tone things down a bit because any more big hits could cost him a lot more than one game.