After weeks of speculation turned into a few days of near certainty, the 49ers finally made it official. The team announced Friday morning that they have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on safety Dashon Goldson. The tag allows Goldson to negotiate with other teams, but if he agrees to terms with a new team, the 49ers have a right to match the contract. If the 49ers elect not to match the contract, they would receive two first round picks as compensation.
49ers GM Trent Baalke released a statement with the news:
"Dashon has been a 49er since we selected him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. By using the franchise tag on Dashon, it affords us the opportunity to continue to work on a long-term contract with him, while also ensuring he will be a 49er for a sixth season, in 2012."
If the two sides are unable to come to terms on a long term contract this offseason, Goldson would sign the tender and receive approximately $6.2 million for the 2012 season. Goldson could conceivably hold out if he is not happy with the way negotiations go, but he has not indicated any displeasure with the idea of being franchised.
In 2011, Goldson (6-2, 200) earned his first Pro Bowl selection as he recorded a career-high six interceptions, which ranked tied for first on the team and second in the NFL among safeties. He also added 80 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and nine passes defensed.
Goldson was originally selected by the 49ers in the fourth round (126th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has played in 65 games (48 starts) for San Francisco, registering 334 tackles, 11 interceptions, three sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 24 passes defensed. Goldson has started all 46 games in which he's appeared over the past three seasons and his 11 interceptions are the most by a 49er since 2007.