NFL comes down hard on Dashon Goldson for illegal hit, suspends him a game

Frank Schwab
September 16, 2013

Dashon Goldson is known as a physical, hard-hitting safety. That style made him tremendously wealthy this offseason. Tampa Bay signed Goldson away from the 49ers for $41.25 million over five years, with $22 million guaranteed.

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The league has had enough of that style. Goldson was suspended for a game for a hit he put on New Orleans running back Darren Sproles, a week after he was given a $30,000 fine for a hit on Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland. Goldson was given a 15-yard penalty for the hit.

ESPN reported that Goldson will appeal the suspension and hopes to have an expedited hearing on Tuesday.

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Goldson has been penalized five times for unnecessary roughness since 2011. His 15 personal foul penalties since are the most among all NFL players in that span, ESPN said. His hit on Sproles was a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver. The NFL wasn't going to condone his history of illegal hits any longer, though it still is legal to cut block someone and break their ankle.

"You had an unobstructed path to your opponent," NFL vice president Merton Hanks wrote in a letter to Goldson, according to the AP. "It is clear that you lowered your head and unnecessarily rammed the left side of your helmet into the left side of your opponent's head. You delivered a forceful blow with your helmet and made no attempt whatsoever to wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play. This illegal contact clearly could have been avoided."

The NFL couldn't allow Goldson to get away with yet another illegal hit without suspending him. Now he'll miss a game against New England, and it's safe to assume another illegal hit would draw an even harsher penalty.

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