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The Bucs have made their first splash move in free agency. The team has agreed to a 5-year deal with All Pro safety Dashon Goldson. The story was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The 28-year-old Goldson recorded 3 interceptions last season with the 49ers and is considered a very good all-around safety. The 6-2, 205-pound Goldson is a fierce hitter who also excels in coverage and figures to be an excellent compliment to Mark Barron. Goldson was considered the best safety available in free agency.
With Goldson now on board, it could spell the end for Ronde Barber. Barber met with the team last week and was told he could return, but in a reduced role. The team is now focusing their attention to cornerbacks. The Bucs are interested in free agents Sean Smith, Brent Grimes and Derek Cox. And according to reports, the Bucs are still a serious trade partner in dealing for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Keep it locked on 620 WDAE for the latest Bucs free agent news.
Below is the official release from the Buccaneers:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have signed free agent safety Dashon Goldson to a five-year contract.
Goldson (6-2, 200) joins the Buccaneers from the San Francisco 49ers, where he was selected as a fourth-round pick (126th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft. Elevated to the team's starting free safety role in 2009, Goldson has earned consecutive Pro Bowl selections following the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He also received AP first-team All-Pro honors in 2012.
During his six-year career, Goldson has played in 81 games with 64 starts, recording 443 tackles, three sacks, 14 interceptions, 35 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He has also started all five of his playoff game appearances, including Super Bowl XLVII. In the postseason, Goldson has notched 47 tackles, one interception, three passes defensed and one forced fumble.
In 2011, Goldson finished tied for second in the NFL with six interceptions, and his nine interceptions over the past two seasons ranks tied for sixth-most in the NFL during that span.
In 2012, after having been franchised by San Francisco, Goldson was part of a pass defense that ranked fourth overall in the NFL, allowing only 200.2 passing yards per game. The 49ers also ranked first in the league by allowing 10.31 passing yards per completion and second with 5.13 passing yards allowed per attempt. Opposing quarterbacks finished the season with a 78.0 quarterback, which ranked seventh in the league.
A native of Carson, Calif., Goldson played one season of collegiate football at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College before transferring to the University of Washington. As a freshman with Coffeyville, Goldson was named first-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American, as well as the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In three seasons with the Huskies, Goldson recorded 194 tackles, four interceptions, 22 passes defensed, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries. He earned a degree in American ethnic studies in June 2006.