Friday marked the end of the 49ers second week of organized team activities (OTA’s). One player missing from the 49ers current 90-man roster was safety Dashon Goldson, who has not yet signed his franchise tender as he tries to acquire a long-term contract from the team. In Goldson’s absence, Jim Harbaugh has rookie safety Trenton Robinson and C.J. Spillman taking all of the first-team reps at practice.
The 49ers have placed the franchise tag on Goldson and he can sign his one-year tender offer worth $6.2 million at any time. Although it is not the norm for franchise tagged players, Goldson could technically join the 49ers for offseason workouts whenever he wants. Don’t expect that to happen any time soon, however, the longer Goldson holds out and misses OTA’s, the more he risks losing his starting job.
When a player has the franchise tag placed on them, the negotiations of a long-term deal becomes a game of who needs who more. In this case the 49ers have the upper hand because they would be comfortable with either Spillman or Robinson starting in place of Goldson if he continues to holdout. Also, with Harbaugh as the head coach he will not hesitate to find other players to fill the safety role who are eager to prove they are starting material. Those who attend OTA’s and training camp is where Harbaugh will look first to fill starting roles and that includes at safety.
Goldson had his chance last off-season to sign a five-year, $25 million deal but he instead balked at the 49ers offer. Without receiving any better offers from other teams, he rejoined the 49ers for 2011 signing a one-year deal. Now CSNBayArea.com is reporting Goldson wants a deal similar to what Chargers safety Eric Weddle signed last year which was a five-year, $40 million deal. That is much higher than what Goldson received last year from the 49ers, but he had his chance for a long-term deal.
The safety had a great year with six interceptions and his first Pro Bowl appearance but he not worth the money Weddle signed. If Goldson thinks he can twist the 49ers into offering him a similar long-term deal, he should get a new agent. All he and his agent have to do is look at the last two franchise tag holdouts the 49ers experienced with Julian Peterson and Aubrayo Franklin. Both did not end with the team caving by offering a long-term contract, but with the two players signing their tender deals late in training camp. The sooner this ends the better for both sides, however, Goldson has more to lose than the 49ers by holding out.
Check out Bill Dwinells’ thoughts on the situation: Dashon Goldson-Gate 2012: What is the End Game?