Why the 49ers Should Replace Dashon Goldson in 2013
Dashon Goldson's play, much like the San Francisco 49ers squad that went 13-3 in the regular season, was a surprise to fans and analysts alike. His excellent play in 2011 was rewarded with a Pro Bowl nod but can we expect the hard-hitting safety to remain in San Fran in 2013 and beyond?
Only Trent Baalke and the rest of the 49ers front office staff will know for sure, and even then I wouldn't expect a clear answer out of the sly general manager.
What we know is that Goldson will be a 49er in 2012, as Baalke designated the franchise tag on the veteran safety, valued at about $6.2 million.
It was unclear if Goldson would sign the deal, but as reported by the 49ers, the veteran safety has signed the $6.2 million tender offered by the 49ers. This is good news for 49ers fans, as the team will employ the same outstanding personnel on defense in 2012 that they fielded in their magical 2011 season.
While we can't deny Goldson's production on the field, there could be some outside factors that prevent a long-term deal from being accomplished.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Dashon Goldson will enter the 2013 season at the prime age of 28. This may not be a serious issue, but when accounting for a long-term deal, the 49ers have to be mindful of the future.
While Carlos Rogers received a contract extension at the ripe age of 31, the 49ers protected themselves in the latter years of that deal. Can the 49ers employ the same strategy with the younger Goldson during future contract negotiations?
Players tend to drop-off around their 30s, making Rogers extension the exception. Goldson will likely look for a deal in the five-to-six year range, while the 49ers probably would be comfortable with a contract ranging from three-to-four years.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Goldson does not have a extensive injury history but with his style of play, it's unbelievable that the veteran safety has not succumbed to serious concussions or such.
With such focus on player safety and concussions, can Goldson play upright for most of next season? This is a hard-hitting 49ers defense, and their style of defense is egged on by the play of Dashon Goldson.
I can't envision this style of play lasting long-term in this league, but at least it isn't stale in the entertainment aspect.
Money, Money, Money
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
The 49ers were not able to negotiate a long-term extension that both sides could be happy with, therefore leaving Goldson to play under the 6.2 million franchise tender in 2012.
If Goldson's play continues at this high level in 2012, can the 49ers afford to pay the veteran safety?
In order to keep that defense intact, Baalke may end up breaking the bank to pay the players what they deserve.
Navorro Bowman and possibly Ricky Jean-Francois, will demand heavy contracts in the coming years. In addition, the 49ers may decide to re-up on Justin Smith's contract, especially if the veteran lineman continues to play at a All Pro level.
Let's not also forget about Tarell Brown, who played excellent last season opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers.
The 49ers already have some heavy contracts on the books on the defensive side, and in the coming years, Trent Baalke will have to be selective on who to keep or let go.
Goldson, despite his play in 2011, may be first member of this outstanding defense to depart in 2013.