The big story for the San Francisco 49ers on Monday was the team not placing a franchise tag on Dashon Goldson or any other player before the start of free agency. This means Goldson is now free to sign with other teams if he chooses.
There are a number of good reasons the 49ers did not apply the franchise tag on Goldson for the second straight season. The number one reason is Goldson wants to stay in San Francisco and I would think the front office feels the same way after his All-Pro season at safety.
Another reason is that Goldson is reportedly seeking a long-term deal worth about $8 million per season. Had he received the franchise tag, the 49ers would have had to pay him $7.45 million next season. There is not much distance between the franchise tag contract and him re-signing under a new contract worth about $8 million per year. But, does general manager Trent Baalke think Goldson is worth $8 million a year? I hope so, because there are no better options in free agency to replace Goldson.
Goldson started 62 of 64 games since 2009 at safety. He is considered as one of the NFL’s most aggressive tacklers and hardest hitting safeties. Other free agents who did not get tagged by the 49ers and can sign with other teams when free agency starts on March 12 include: wide receiver Randy Moss, nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, tight end Delanie Walker, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, return specialist Ted Ginn Jr., guard Leonard Davis and linebackers Larry Grant, Tavares Gooden and Clark Haggans.
NFL’s Franchise Tagged Players
Unlike last season, when there was an NFL record 21 players receiving the franchise tag, only eight teams decided to franchise tag a player. Here is the full list along with what each player will make in 2013:
Buffalo Bills: Safety Jairus Byrd – $6.916 million
Chicago Bears: Defensive tackle Henry Melton – $8.45 million
Cincinnati Bengals: Defensive end Michael Johnson – $11.175 million
Dallas Cowboys: Linebacker/defensive end Anthony Spencer – $10.627 million
Denver Broncos: Offensive tackle Ryan Clady – $9.828 million
Indianapolis Colts: Punter Pat McAfee – $2.977 million
Kansas City Chiefs: offensive tackle Branden Albert – $9.828 million
Miami Dolphins: Defensive tackle Randy Starks – $8.45 million