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Goldson brings suspension on himself

11/18/2013
AP Photo/Reinhold Matay

TAMPA, Fla. -- The record will show that Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson was suspended one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White on Sunday.

The record doesn’t come close to telling the whole story.

Goldson was suspended because he had an "X" on his back. He put it firmly there with his own actions early in the season. Goldson was an easy target for a league that’s cracking down on player safety. Twice before, Goldson was fined for illegal hits. One of those times, he initially was suspended for a game. But that suspension was overturned on appeal.

That left Goldson very much on the league's radar and the hit on White merely was a final straw. Goldson's a smart guy, but he should have been smarter. He plays a position where it's a virtue to be physical. But Goldson carried that too far and now he has to pay the price.

The suspension will cost Goldson $264,705 (the equivalent of one weekly game check). But the suspension might cost Goldson and the Bucs a lot more than that.

The Bucs are on a two-game winning streak and they have to face the Detroit Lions and receiver Calvin Johnson this coming Sunday. They'll have to do that with reserve Keith Tandy filling in for Goldson, who is one of the defensive captains and leaders.

Goldson, who had a reputation for physical play when he was with San Francisco, could have avoided this mess if he had toned things down a bit. But he didn't, and that's going to hurt Goldson and the Bucs.