2:55pm: The Bucs announced that the deal is now official, according to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
9:14am: A source tells Pro Football Talk (Twitter link) that the Bucs will pay the $4MM portion of Goldson’s 2015 salary which is fully guaranteed, which makes the deal a very minimal risk and investment for Washington.
9:06am: According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, who notes that $4MM of Goldson’s salary for 2015 is guaranteed, the safety’s contract was adjusted as part of the trade, though the specific details aren’t immediately clear (Twitter link).
8:50am: After contemplating releasing him, the Buccaneers have found a taker for veteran safety Dashon Goldson, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). According to Stroud, the Bucs have agreed to send Goldson to Washington for a 2016 draft pick. Albert Breer of the NFL Network clarifies (via Twitter) that Washington is giving up a 2016 sixth-rounder in the deal, while Tampa Bay is including a ’16 seventh-rounder along with the safety.
Goldson, 30, signed a massive five-year contract worth $47.5MM with the Bucs prior to the 2013 season, so he still has three years left on that deal. Because there was no signing bonus on that deal, Tampa Bay will avoid carrying any dead money on its cap by trading him. Washington, meanwhile, will take on the safety’s $7.5MM base salary for 2015, along with a $500K workout bonus, for a cap hit totaling $8MM. Goldson has cap numbers of $8MM for 2016 and $7.25MM in 2017.
When Goldson signed that lucrative five-year contract with the Bucs, he was coming off an All-Pro season in San Francisco. However, his production has slipped a little over the last two seasons, as he has battled injuries. In 2014, among 87 qualified safeties, only Ryan Clark performed worse than Goldson, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Goldson’s -14.5 pass coverage grade was dead last among safeties — per PFF, he allowed a 69.7% completion percentage and a 127.2 passer rating on throws into his coverage.
Of course, Clark is the player that Goldson is replacing in Washington, so even if the former Buc doesn’t bounce back in 2015, it could technically be an upgrade for the team. Assuming Goldson looks good in camp, he and free agent signee Jeron Johnson figure to be Washington’s new starting safety duo — if not, the club could release Goldson and turn to an in-house option such as Trent Robinson, or perhaps a draftee. Still, since $4MM of Goldson’s base salary is guaranteed, Washington has some financial incentive to make things work with him.
Current Washington general manager Scot McCloughan was a member of the 49ers’ front office when the team drafted Goldson back in 2007.