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Redskins GM Scot McCloughan follows his plan with Dashon Goldson trade

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan followed his plan, once again, in landing safety Dashon Goldson. It’s one he followed throughout the offseason and it’s a welcome plan of attack.

Not in every case, mind you, but in four of his offseason acquisitions he had an in-depth knowledge of the player. He drafted Goldson and Ricky Jean Francois; he was in Seattle when the Seahawks signed Jeron Johnson as an undrafted free agent and he still has strong connections in San Francisco who could fill him in on Culliver. That, too, is a golden rule of free agency (or trades, for that matter): Get players you know. You should make fewer mistakes that way.

Goldson is not a big risk at all. If he does not pan out, the Redskins are out $4 million this year – a good sum for a safety, but not huge. Yes, they lose a sixth-round draft pick, but they also gained a seventh. If it doesn’t work out the way they hope, then he was just a one-year rental and it’s back to trying to fill this spot. I can't tell you that this problem area is solved; more needs to be known and seen.

But the overall key is that McCloughan knows the type of player Washington received. just as he did with most of the others. And his scouting of Stephen Paea before the 2011 draft also came in handy; he liked Paea before that draft because of his research. They did not have ties to nose tackle Terrance Knighton, but they know what he adds on the field (and certainly Chris Baker could have helped provide information on his best friend). But again, Knighton is on a one-year deal. So any risk is mitigated.

McCloughan also didn’t want older players – among the new players, only Goldson is 30 years old. The rest are younger. The need at safety, combined with McCloughan’s knowledge of him, made signing someone in that age range an OK risk.

But the overall point is that McCloughan had a plan and has stuck to what he views as the blueprint to building a team. It’s a welcome change. Not every move will work out, but if you stick to your beliefs, you eventually get to where you need to go.