The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to move on from what has become an expensive mistake in free agency. Bucs writer Rick Stroud is reporting the team will either trade or release free safety Dashon Goldson. The team signed safety Chris Conte in hopes of finding a better fit for their defense.
It is highly unlikely they find anybody willing to trade for Goldson. Even though a new team would not have to deal with a signing bonus issue, Goldson is due to make $7.5 million in base salary, along with $500,000 in workout bonus money. Given how far he has fallen in his two years since joining the Bucs.
Goldson marks one more example of a San Francisco 49ers defensive player parting ways and struggling to make something of himself. The previous best example was Aubrayo Franklin, who was franchised by the 49ers one year, and not too long after had become an after thought. Donte Whitner proved to be an exception to this rule as he had a solid year with the Cleveland Browns last season.
Of course, with Whitner, you could argue he was already a solid safety before he joined the 49ers. Goldson made his bones as a 49er, and this lack of success elsewhere might tell us something about the 49ers system and coaching. Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell had a strong run of defensive backs during their time in San Francisco. I don't know what we can attribute to Fangio's scheme, and what we can attribute to Donatell's coaching, but both guys are gone now. It remains to be seen what DC Eric Mangini and DB coach Tim Lewis bring to the table with this defense, but it is certainly something we'll be keeping a close eye on.
As for Goldson? Naturally people are asking if the 49ers might talk to him about returning. I have to think he is looking to start somewhere in the NFL. He could be the primary reserve safety for the 49ers, although that would entail releasing Craig Dahl and taking a dead money hit. But even still, I would be surprised to see him settle for what would effectively be almost entirely special teams work. Sure, injuries happen and there is a good chance he would find himself in with the defense from time to time, but I just don't see him settling for that quite yet.