Atlanta made a surprising free agent move in signing veteran safety Dashon Goldson. So why did the Falcons sign the 31-year-old and how important will he be this season? With rookie Keanu Neal suffering a knee injury and Kemal Ishmael being a less than attractive option as a starter, it makes sense that Dan Quinn decided to add another safety to the roster. Lets dice right into what all this means for the team.
Why did we sign him?
When Keanu Neal went down Thursday the Falcons coaching staff was immediately concerned, not only for the health of the 1st round pick, but also because they realized the fragility of the the position as a whole. The Falcons had no real depth at strong safety. Now the Falcons do have Ishmael and Therezie, but even so, they don’t provide the depth of talent that Atlanta should want. Yes, Ishmael has shown flashes of greatness but he hasn’t been consistent about it and for Therezie, let’s not even talk about him starting. While the “Cadillac” does make some big plays from time to time, he’s just not consistent enough to be a starting player in this NFL. Not right now at least . Goldson has had an up-and-down career, but the Falcons know exactly what he will provide the team and that’s essential when staff are unsure about a key position.
Can Goldson make an important impact?
Yes, his brings a lot to the table and that’s why the Falcons signed him. Goldson is a proven starter who has been impactful for every team he’s played for; he is a guy who, when needed, can make a big play in clutch moments. When he was with San Francisco he played some solid football and, in 2012, he earned a pro bowl spot. After that he was traded to Tampa where he slowed down and looked lethargic. Last year he was again traded, this time to Washington where he started 15 games and recorded 110 combined tackles, and an interception against the Saints that returned for a touchdown. Overall Goldson is a mixed bag. It has been proven that he can produce in key moments but it may not be his ability on the field that is most important for Atlanta.
Veteran Leadership to a Rookie
Goldson should start over Ishmael until Neal is back healthy, but when Neal comes back from injury Goldson will begin his most important role on the team. Mentoring the young rookie. Goldson will work with the young and immensely talented rookie and start to teach him the ins and outs of being a starting safety in the NFL. He’ll hopefully be able to show Neal how to bait a QB, or dissect a play before it even begins. The experience that Goldson has as a starter should be absorbed by Neal, and may lessen his growing pains in the NFL.
All in all, the Dashon Goldson signing should be a fairly good one for Atlanta. He provides veteran leadership, has had proven success and will definitely be able to fill in for Neal until he’s healthy. He’s a good guy as well, let’s hope it doesn’t take him too long to settle in to the loud city of Atlanta, and lets welcome him with open arms Falcons nation.