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Replacing Dashon Goldson is easier said than done for Buccaneers

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a problem, and it's called Dashon Goldson. The free safety is set to make $8 million this year, which is far too much money. Half of that money is guaranteed, so cutting him would save the Bucs $4 million. But that means that finding a replacement -- either a cheaper or better player -- should be on the to-do list this year.

Goldson isn't bad per se, but he certainly doesn't make the Bucs' defense any better, either. Replacing him with a much cheaper player without losing much in terms of quality of play shouldn't be too difficult -- except there's no real way to get one of those players on the team.

I haven't found anything to dispute that characterization, and the worst part of it all is that Landon Collins is primarily a strong safety -- effectively the successor of Mark Barron, the player the Bucs actually traded away this offseason because he wasn't playing well in the team's scheme. Bradley McDougald and Major Wright played well in taking over for Barron, and there's no reason to replace McDougald. Wright's contract expired, but he could easily be back, too.

Free agency will give the Bucs exactly one good option at safety: Devin McCourty, but he could still be tagged or otherwise re-signed by the New England Patriots. He's a true free safety who has the range to patrol the back end of any defense, and that's exactly what the Bucs want. But he'd command a premium salary, and the Bucs stayed away from those players last year, preferring to look for better bargains.

So instead, we may simply see another year of Dashon Goldson at free safety. That's not the worst thing in the world: he played capably last year, but it's certainly not ideal.