NFL: Grading the Most Meaningful Free Agent Signings

4 of 9

Tampa Bay Signs Dashon Goldson

Dashon Goldson fizzled down the stretch for the San Francisco 49ers, so they can’t be too mad about losing him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jan 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson (38) addresses the media during a press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Marriott New Orleans. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Goldson is getting paid $41.25 million dollars over the course of five years, a hefty contract considering how poorly Goldson played in 2012. After intercepting seven passes (including the playoffs) in 2011, Goldson just picked off three passes in 2012 (including the playoffs).

Also, Goldson only deflected 11 passes in 2012, which was a career high. He gives up a lot of completions and isn’t a great tackler, as he was 57th among defensive backs with 69 tackles, or just over four per game.

In the postseason, Goldson didn’t perform well. On this play in the NFC Championship Game, he mistakenly thought he had help behind him and was burned by Atlanta’s Julio Jones, resulting in a touchdown for the Falcons. Jones torched Goldson and made some other catches on Goldson, who had an abysmal postseason, in that game.

While Goldson was fourth on the 49ers in tackles and showed lots of potential in 2011, he didn’t perform well in 2012 and made the decision to let go of Goldson easy for the 49ers. Tampa Bay is paying over $8 million per year for Goldson, and if he doesn’t perform up to par with expectations, it will be a huge waste of money.

So, because of the high money and high risk, this signing gets an average grade.

Grade: C+