The Atlanta Falcons scheduled a work out with veteran safety Dashon Goldson on Saturday after Keanu Neal’s knee injury in preseason Game 3 on Thursday. Will the Falcons sign him?
The Atlanta Falcons announced on Friday that first-round safety Keanu Neal will be out three to four weeks after suffering a knee injury in Thursday’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Neal himself doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the injury, but he will undergo minor knee surgery on Monday. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Atlanta Falcons scheduled a workout with veteran safety Dashon Goldson on Saturday.
"Free Agent safety Dashon Goldson is working out for the #Falcons tomorrow, source said. Makes sense with the Keanu Neal injury.– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet), Aug. 26, 2016"
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Goldson, 31, is a nine-year veteran as well as a two-time Pro Bowler. He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, where he remained until 2012. His time with the 49ers earned him the reputation as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL.
In March 2013, Goldson signed a five-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was traded to the Washington Redskins in April 2015. He became a free agent in March 2016 when he was cut by the Redskins after just one season. Goldson had a career-high 110 tackles last season as well as one interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Goldson’s role with the Falcons
If he’s looking to start, Goldson isn’t likely to find that with the Atlanta Falcons. According to ESPN’s Von McClure, Goldson would have to accept a backup role if he signs, and the Falcons don’t see him as an immediate replacement for Neal. However, he would of course provide the team with more depth and options.
VIA ESPN’s Von McClure:
"Kemal Ishmael is Neal’s backup and would move into the starting role once healthy. Ishmael continues to recover from a shoulder injury and is expected to return to limited practice Sunday.“I like the physicality,” Quinn said of Goldson. “(Neal) is our guy, so we told Dashon that as well. And (Neal) will be back shortly. But (Goldson) did a really good job today, just moving around and his approach. You can really tell, even in a short interaction, what he stands for as a ballplayer.”The 31-year-old Goldson, a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro, would be added insurance.“Goldson looked good; he moved around well,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “He came in at a solid weight. He’s a big guy, as you know, who’s rangy and can move around athletically for a guy who can play both strong and free. Obviously in our situation, he’s more of a strong safety with this team.”"
So Coach Quinn and Dimitroff were happy with Goldson‘s workout, but so far nothing has been confirmed. According to the latest from the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, the team is currently talking to Goldson‘s representative about signing.