The Atlanta Falcons announced the addition of free-agent safety DaShon Goldson this morning, a day after reports surfaced that he was being brought in to work out for the team. Goldson’s addition shores up depth at strong safety, where the Falcons are expected to miss rookie starter Keanu Neal for up to month due to a knee injury. Neal suffered his injury during the first quarter of the team’s preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins last Thursday.
Goldson, 31, is known for his physical presence on the field and is expected to provide insurance behind backup strong safety Kemal Ishmael, who has missed the past two preseason games due to a shoulder injury he suffered against the Washington Redskins.
Goldson spent last season with the Washington Redskins, where he had a team-leading 108 tackles, while also adding one forced fumble and three pass breakups. He also had a pick-six against the New Orleans Saints.
Goldson was traded to the Redskins last April after two lackluster seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite signing a contract in 2013 that made him one of the highest-paid safeties in the league. Goldson’s penchant for hard-hitting got him into trouble on occasion with the Bucs, including serving a one-game suspension after decking a defenseless Roddy White in 2013.
Prior to joining the Bucs, Goldson had a successful run with the San Francisco 49ers, making the Pro Bowl in his final two seasons. Originally a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in 2007, Goldson spent the first two seasons a reserve before getting the opportunity to start in 2009. He slowly developed over the next few years until earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2011 thanks to the six interceptions he managed. He followed that up with three picks in 2012.
For his career, Goldson has started 106 out of 123 games over the past nine seasons. He also had 16 career interceptions including two returned for touchdowns, 46 pass breakups, three sacks, eight forced fumbles and eight recoveries.