The San Francisco 49ers have one year to decide what to do with starting free safety Dashon Goldson, who is playing out the final year of his contract under the franchise-tag rate of $6.212 million. Goldson's people have leaked that they want "Eric Weddle money," but Goldson is no Weddle.
Goldson enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 as the 49ers experienced a comeback, going all the way to the NFC Championship game and almost beating the New York Giants. His seven interceptions led to a Pro Bowl vote. What those numbers don't tell you is that Goldson wasn't even the best safety on his own team—Donte Whitner outpaced Goldson when we scouted the top players at every position this year.
Weddle is a two-time All-Pro safety for the San Diego Chargers who signed a $40 million deal over five years. Weddle's earning of $8 million per year makes him the highest paid safety in the game in terms of yearly compensation.
Now that the numbers are out there, how do the two match up on the field?
The guys at PFF take a more analytical look at each player, assigning a number grade in an almost Moneyball-like way to see the game of football. Unlike classic scouting, which is what the B/R 1,000 project came from, ProFootballFocus rankings are much more intrinsic.
What classic scouting and number analysis show is that while Goldson had a good 2011 season, he's in no situation to ask for Weddle type money. Goldson should be happy to play for the $6.2 million the 49ers are paying him this year.