Will the Hawk be forced to leave the nest?
Turron Davenport of Press Coverage Sports is back again with his take on Dashon Goldson and the 49ers re-signing him.
he 49ers have hinted at not designating Dashon Goldson as their franchise player this off season. Goldson did receive the tag last year and if he were to get tagged this year his cap number would be in the neighborhood of $7.54 million. This does not necessarily mean that they do not want to bring Dashon back. It surely is not a good sign though. Letting Goldson go would be a very confusing decision.
Dashon Goldson is the leader of the 49ers’ secondary. He makes the calls on the field. He is the one that the defensive backs gather around during pregame talks. Before they head out onto the field Dashon Goldson is the one that speaks. The physical mindset of the 49ers defense extends to the secondary thanks to the way Goldson and Donte Whitner play. They are known as the Lumber Company. However, Whitner’s contract is up after next season.
The lack of depth especially after the 2014 season makes the possible decision to let Goldson walk so confusing. If Goldson leaves the 49ers will have a large hole in their secondary. CJ Spillman is a good player in spot duty and on special teams but he surely is not capable of replacing a first team All Pro player like Goldson. This year’s safety draft class is deep: http://getrealfootball.com/2013/02/23/nfl-combine-safeties/. The problem is does a Super Bowl caliber team want to start a rookie at Safety?
The 49ers would be wise to draft a Safety like DJ Swearinger that can play in some passing situations and will play special teams. Swearinger can cover Tight Ends and has also played some Cornerback at South Carolina. He could take over for Whitner in 2014. Whitner will count $3.85 million against the cap in 2013 and is an unrestricted free agent in 2014. The 49ers can sign Dashon and draft a Safety that will challenge Whitner this season then take over in 2014. This will sure up their situation at Safety.
Reports have it that Goldson wants Eric Weddle type money. I don’t know what the contract details are that Goldson and his agent are seeking. Weddle is a very good safety but Goldson presents a strong case for top NFL Safety as well. Goldson should definitely get a deal in the range of Eric Weddle’s.
Statistically, they match up:
Weddle: 97 TKL 2 FF 3 INTs 9 Pass Defensed
Goldson: 69 TKL 1 FF 3 INTs 11 Pass Defensed
Weddle does have more tackles, but you have to remember, the 49ers’ front seven is by far better than the Chargers. Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman typically account for most of the tackles. Of course Goldson’s total will be lower.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has said that he feels that it should be a top priority to bring Goldson back. The 49ers typically set their value for a player shortly after the season and typically don’t budge from that stance. What they will set for Goldson remains to be seen. “We’ve always maintained that we want to keep as many of our core guys together as we can,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said from the college scouting combine in Indy. “So it’s definitely a priority. Are we going to be able to do it? We don’t know that. We’re going to work awfully hard to make that happen.” Baalke has said that he will not overpay for any player.
A deal in the neighborhood of 5 years $35 million with a $15 million signing bonus is a fair contract for a 28 year old player coming off a 1st team All Pro season. Weddle’s contract was 5 years $40 million with a $13 million signing bonus. Eric Berry was given a contract that was 6 years $60 million with $34 million guaranteed. Think about that. It is truly safe to say that Eric Berry is not the same caliber of player that Goldson is. Berry has had a total of five interceptions over the past two years. Dashon Goldson has had almost two times that total with nine.
Other players on the Niners have gotten rewarded. It is now time for “The Hawk” to get his payday. He is a fan favorite and takes the time to acknowledge that. Each year Goldson’s foundation The Highest Point does a free football camp in his home town.
n 2011 he came back to the 49ers after being in contact with the Patriots and Bengals. In 2012 he was granted the franchise tag and didn’t make a fuss about it. He simply came into camp and continued to be the best player in the 49ers’ secondary. He was the leader of a unit that ranked 4th in the NFL against the pass. It would be foolish to allow a key player on a unit that was 2nd in the NFL in points allowed. Dashon Goldson has been through it all with the Niners. Baalke and Harbaugh know what they need to do…PAY THE MAN!