The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reaching for the stars in free agency again this year, and once again they are doing so in style. Two-time Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson agreed Tuesday to visit the Bucs before contacting any other team, and the Bucs responded by sending a private jet to California to pick him up, Goldson's agent, Ben Dogra, said. Goldson, a starter for the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl team last year, was expected to arrive in Tampa late Tuesday while the Bucs are hoping a contract can be finalized as soon as today. The Bucs will have to impress Goldson to get that done. Dogra said Goldson liked what he heard initially from the Bucs but "wants to win'' and must therefore feel comfortable "with the direction of the team.'' The decision to reach out to Goldson was the Bucs' first attempt to repair a pass defense that ranked last in the league last year and fell 37 yards short of being the worst in NFL history. The decision to fly Goldson to Tampa on a private jet, meanwhile, was similar to a move made last year when the Bucs sent one to retrieve their top three free-agent signees — wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright. Goldson, 28, has 14 career interceptions, including nine the past two years, and 20 pass breakups the past two years. He was considered the top safety available on the free-agent market. An explosive hitter and run stopper in the box, Goldson is considered to be at his best playing the role of the deep ball hawker, which would seem to make him a good fit alongside Mark Barron, the Bucs' 2012 first-round draft pick. A signing of Goldson, meanwhile, would mean the Bucs have found a replacement for free agent Ronde Barber, who moved to safety last year after playing his previous 15 seasons at cornerback. Barber hit the open market when the new league year began Tuesday at 4 p.m., and he is contemplating retirement as well as the possibility of returning to the Bucs in a reserve role or moving on to another team.
Buccaneers make Goldson top target
Tampa Tribune | Mar 13