The San Francisco 49ers biggest impending free agent his offseason is free safety Dashon Goldson, and it sounds like he will get to test out his market value in the free agent waters this year. Citing two league sources, the Sacramento Bee’s Mike Barrows writes that the 49ers are not planning to use the franchise tag this offseason.
Goldson had another good year this past season for the NFC champs, and his coverage skills looked much-improved in 2012 when I watched him. He was a first-team, All-Pro selection last season for the first time in his career, and Goldson finished the year with three interceptions and ten passes defended.
If Goldson does indeed hit the open market, then he will be a coveted free agent as one of the top safeties available. He plays the run very well and covers at a high level, and that combination is what teams are always looking for at the safety position. While Goldson is definitely the team’s priority this offseason, it never seemed like people expected the Niners to franchise him.
According to the Bee, GM Trent Baalke’s comment, “You can’t pay everybody, and you certainly can’t pay everybody if you’re overpaying others,” was likely directed at Dashon Goldson.
This year’s draft is stacked with talent at the safety position, and Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery reiterated that there are about six starters at the position this year. So, if worst comes to worst, the 49ers will be picking a quality safety in this year’s draft- this team has very little needs heading into the free agent period.