If a contract is not reached at any point on Monday, Goldson will then only be allowed to sign the one-year, $6.2 million franchise tag placed on him by the club and contract negotiations will be barred until the end of the regular season.
Goldson, who is now 27 years old and entering his sixth NFL season, played under a one-year, $2 million deal in 2011 and his superior playmaking abilities helped him emerge as the clear-cut option at free safety. The heavy-hitting defensive back tallied six interceptions—some of them at crucial points—to go with 67 tackles on the year.
The tricky part, which is perhaps the biggest factor keeping the two sides at a standstill, is that Goldson is apparently demanding a payday that ranks among the best safeties in the league. Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk reported in May that Goldson was looking for a deal in the ballpark of $8 million per season, similar to the five-year, $40 million contract Chargers' Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle signed this spring.
The 49er front office typically isn't shy about rewarding top players with long-term security, but they prefer to do so in a financially sound manner.
As the deadline looms, the standstill is a good sign that the 49ers do not feel Goldson is worth the high asking price.
The young safety did have a fine season, but there were also occasional lapses in judgement while in pass coverage. With a full offseason to digest defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's schemes, it's likely Goldson will become more reliable and ease off his aggressive tendencies when appropriate.
Then again, that aggressive play is what earned him a Pro Bowl nod and helped further the hard-nosed identity that this 49er D carries.
At least we can safely assume that Goldson will be wearing Red and Gold for 2012, if not beyond. The sixth-year pro recently made it clear he plans to play in San Francisco this year (Mercury News).
Said Goldson on SirusXM NFL Radio earlier this week, "I just hope something will get done. And if not, I'll still be a 49er."
CSNBayArea's Matt Maiocco recently reported that the two sides have not made any progress toward a new deal.
Whether it will be under the franchise tag amount of $6.2 million or a more future-friendly long-term deal, is up to the 49er front office, Goldson and his agent, Ben Dogra.
The two sides squeeze in a long-term contract somewhere in the ballpark of four-to-five years and $29-$36 million.
In other words, Goldson would wind up playing for just over $7 million per season. Neither sides want this financial pressure to wear on into 2013, and Fangio and defensive backs coach Ed Donatell should be confident they can help mold the young star into a top-tier safety for years to come.
Goldson is badly seeking security, and he'll come down from his $8 million a year asking price enough for the two to find an acceptable meeting point.
This article was first published on BayAreaSportsNews.
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