A handful of Redskins have arrived at career crossroads. Some haven’t been consistent. A few have battled injuries. Others simply are on the wrong side of 30. Whichever it is, these players are entering a make-or-break stretch as the team’s offseason program begins. In the coming days, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will evaluate their chances of making the 53-man roster.
Player: Dashon Goldson.
Position: Free safety.
Age: 31 in September.
2015 cap number: $4 million.
2014 stats: 14 games, 81 combined tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass defended, 0 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions.
Outlook: Unlike the first two players featured in this series—running back Chris Thompson and safety Phillip Thomas—Goldson isn't battling for a job. The ninth-year pro figures to make the Redskins’ roster and start Week 1.
For Goldson, 2015 is about securing his future.
The big, hard-hitting free safety signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract in with the Buccaneers in 2013. But after two subpar seasons in Tampa Bay—he missed five games, made just one interception and was deemed a poor scheme fit—the Buccaneers traded Goldson to the Redskins in a deal that included a swap of late-round draft picks. To facilitate the trade, the Bucs agreed to eat $4 million of Goldson’s salary.
The move gives both sides what they so desperately needed. The team fills a position that’s long been a problem. And the player receives a chance to show the Redskins (as well as 31 other teams) that he can still perform at a high level.
Since arriving Ashburn, Redskins coaches have raved about Goldson, who will earn a $2.3 million bonus if he’s still on the 90-man roster on Aug. 1.
“With Dashon, just being around him for the last five weeks, he’s exactly what you want in that position back there,” defensive coordinator Joe Barry said in a recent interview on ESPN 980. “He’s the quarterback of the secondary.”
Goldson’s tenure in Washington seems to be off a strong start. But the real test will come during the regular season. If Goldson can rediscover the form that made him a Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2012 (or anything close, really), he’ll resuscitate his career and perhaps find a home in Washington on a re-worked contract. If he struggles, the Redskins will move on and Goldson will be an aging, faded star seeking employment.
So, yeah, the next six months are pretty big for him.