The Redskins filled a need in trading for free safety Dashon Goldson and that’s certainly a plus for the team. However, the deal cost them a good chunk of their remaining salary cap space, bringing them down from $10 million left to spend to around $6.5 million. Part of that cost perhaps could have been avoided if Scot McCloughan had been a little more patient.
It was pretty well known that the Bucs had no intention of paying Goldson, who will turn 31 in September, the $8 million in salary and workout bonus that he was due in 2015. They were trying to trade him but if they were unable to do so they were going to cut him and eat the $4 million in guaranteed salary that was part of the free agent deal Goldson signed in 2013.
The Redskins came in and gave them something for Goldson even if it was only a swap of late-round 2016 draft picks. The Bucs will pay the $4 million in guaranteed salary so Washington isn’t on the hook for that.
However, Washington is still responsible for the remaining $4 million due Goldson this year. That’s a pretty hefty sum for a player who is coming off of two bad seasons. Last year was particularly awful for Goldson. In 14 games he had no interceptions and defensed just one pass.
Compare what the Redskins are paying Goldson to the one-year, $2 million deal that Tyvon Branch signed with the Chiefs or the one-year, $2.25 million contract Louis Delmas got to stay with the Chiefs. For that matter, Rahim Moore, the second-ranked free agent safety this offseason, got a three-year deal averaging $4 million per year.
On the open market, Goldson would have been offered a deal much closer to what Branch and Delmas got. All the Redskins had to do was wait for the Bucs to cut him.
How long would the Redskins have had to wait? Probably not long. The Bucs’ offseason workout program starts two weeks from Monday. With a $500,000 workout bonus on the line, you can be sure that Goldson would have been at the team facility bright and early. At that point the Bucs would have been taking a big risk. If Goldson had been injured during the voluntary workouts, the team could have been on the hook for his entire 2015 salary. It would have been a dumb risk for the Bucs organization to take considering the low return they got in the trade.
So if the Redskins had waited another two weeks or so it’s likely that Goldson would have been cut. Then they could have negotiated a deal with him that was much closer to his market value and saved themselves at least $2 million in cap space.
It needs to be noted that if Goldson had hit the open market there is no guarantee that the Redskins would have been able to sign him. They might have gone into their own offseason workouts without a legitimate free safety. So knowing that you have Goldson’s services secured is worth something. But is it worth $2 million or more?
Bottom line, it's not a good contract considering what the player has done the last two seasons. And it can't be a good deal for the team if it comes with a bad contract.