NFL suspends Dashon Goldson for repeat violations
SEP 16, 2013 10:12a ET
The play occurred in the second quarter of the Saints' 16-14 victory Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks communicated the suspension in the following letter to Goldson:
"You had an unobstructed path to your opponent. 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."
With the suspension, Goldson can't practice with the Bucs or play in their Week 3 game against the New England Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. He has three business days to appeal the suspension and request an expedited hearing and decision.
Matt Birk or Ted Cottrell, officers appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association to oversee appeals of on-field player discipline, hear and decide appeals. If the suspension holds, Goldson will be reinstated Sept. 23.
Goldson, a seventh-year veteran, has drawn 15 personal fouls since 2010, more than anyone else in the league. He was fined $30,000 for a hit on New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland in the Bucs' Week 1 loss at MetLife Stadium. The violation Sunday was Goldson's fifth for unnecessary roughness since 2011.
On Sunday, Goldson said the Bucs' defense could become targeted for its physical play. Overall, Tampa Bay was penalized 10 times for 118 yards in the Week 2 loss.
"I'm sure," Goldson said. "You've got two hard-hitting safeties, a dominant defense pretty much, a physical defense. I'm sure we're going to be a target."
Goldson, a two-time Pro Bowl player, signed a five-year, $41.25 million deal as a free agent last March, part of the Bucs' effort to revamp their secondary after owning the league's worst pass defense last season.
On Monday, Bucs coach Greg Schiano said he and other team officials considered Goldson's physical history before signing the player.
"When we made the decision to bring Dashon here, that was not a concern,” Schiano said. “Was I aware that he was a big hitter? Yes. And it's not a concern now. ... He's trying to do the right thing, but he has to lower his target point. Sometimes the target point moves while you're trying to hit so that means you even have to go lower still. He certainly is trying. It's not one of those, 'Oh, I don't care.' He's very aware and trying."
Goldson has 16 tackles this season.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at email@example.com.
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