Dashon Goldson: Not the Best Safety Option for the Philadelphia Eagles

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistMarch 8, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01:  Dashon Goldson #38 of the San Francisco 49ers gets ready on the field during the NFL game against  the Indianapolis Colts  at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 18-14.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In our Philadelphia Eagles free agency primer, we included Dashon Goldson as an option for the Philadelphia Eagles at the safety position. But we also noted that Goldson was likely to be overpaid in the open market. The San Francisco 49ers veteran has been through the hype machine early this month, and when you're the most talked about free agent at your position, you usually get a huge contract. 

And while the Eagles have a ton of money to spend on whomever they choose and Goldson would still provide the secondary with a much-needed upgrade at the free safety position, I still believe there are better, more reasonably priced options for Philadelphia to chase. 

That's why it's surprising to see a report from NJ.com's Jordan Raanan that indicates the Eagles will "have interest" in Goldson. Maybe that's just Goldson's agent getting word out more proactively than those who represent, say, William Moore or Kenny Phillips, but Raanan does cite "multiple league sources."

It should be noted that 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble left San Francisco earlier this offseason to become vice president of player personnel in Philly. Gamble could be selling one of his guys to Howie Roseman and Co., but I think the Eagles would be better off pursuing Moore or Phillips. 

Goldson turns 29 this season. Moore is 27 and Phillips is 26. That's only a slight age advantage, but it could make a big difference when you also factor in the potential savings. I understand that injury concerns are also a factor here, particularly with Phillips, but that's why I think I'd go with Moore over any other safety on the market, including the 34-year-old Ed Reed.

The Eagles had only 13 takeaways last season, the second-lowest 16-game total in NFL history. They need safeties who can make plays. Moore has 16 takeaways in his last 40 games, while Goldson has 12 in 46 games during the same span. That means Moore is forcing turnovers 53 percent more often than Goldson is. 

Throw in that Moore has proven to be a better run defender and pass-rusher when called upon, and I don't think it's a debate. 

Again, it's likely the Eagles are interested in several safeties, including Phillips and maybe even Reed and Adrian Wilson. But for what it's worth, the first "leak" of the free-agent rumor mill favors Goldson.

Expect plenty of leaks still to come. Tonight at midnight, teams are permitted to contact and negotiate with agents representing everyone on the verge of hitting the open market in a three-day window that precedes the official start of free agency. We'll be monitoring the rumors as they fly and will be around to react to any breaking news. In the meantime, here are our free agency primers for the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins