Dashon Goldson falling out of favor with Buccaneers?


Two years ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were prepared to build their defense around a nucleus that included Darrelle Revis, Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson in the defensive backfield.

Revis and Barron have already been jettisoned by new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht. Goldson could be next.

Goldson's snaps have been on the decline for a couple of weeks. Against the Falcons in Week 10, he was removed on some passing downs in favor of Bradley McDougald, who was a waiver claim a year ago.

"We want to take a look at Bradley McDougald," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Thursday, via ESPN.com. "He's done some things to warrant being on the field and taking a look at him. That's the only way to really get it done."

Frazier further explained that McDougald is "not a one-dimensional guy," suggesting that the second-year safety is superior to Goldson in coverage.

If Goldson is now regarded as a rotational player, he's not going to be back in Tampa in 2015.

As part of his five-year, $41.25 million contract signed in March of 2013, Goldson is slated to draw $7.5 million in base salary next season. The Bucs can save roughly $5 million in salary cap space by setting him free.

Goldson isn't the only holdover from the Greg Schiano-Mark Dominik era who's likely to be discarded in the offseason.

Running back Doug Martin appears to be the odd man out in the backfield, and wide receiver Vincent Jackson was dangled at the trade deadline.

At this point, Smith's second season is shaping up as another rebuilding one in Tampa.

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