By Mark Gaughan
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just signed San Francisco 49ers free-agent safety Dashon Goldson to a five-year contract worth $8.25 million a year, according to numerous media reports.
That helps nudge up the pricetag for Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd, from this perspective, at least.
Goldson's deal makes him the third-highest-paid safety in the league, behind the Kansas City Chiefs' Eric Berry ($10 million a year) and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu ($9.2 million a year). San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle makes $8 million a year.
Goldson got $22 million in guaranteed money. He's 28 years old and has two Pro Bowls to his name plus one first-team All-Pro selection. Goldson has 64 starts, 14 interceptions, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 273 tackles.
Byrd is 26 and has been selected to two Pro Bowls, including last season. Byrd has 57 starts, 18 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 219 tackles.
Goldson has played two more seasons than Byrd and made 30 tackles his first two years. And Goldson is playing with a much better cast, giving him more play-making opportunities.
We'll have plenty of time to analyze numbers as the offseason goes on, but Byrd compares favorably to Weddle, as well. The Bills put the franchise tag on Byrd, which guarantees him a one-year salary of $6.9 million this season.
tagged2013 free agency | Dashon Goldson | Jairus Byrd