Dashon Goldson was given the “franchise tag” before this season, and today he spoke in front of his locker about his feelings on that possibly happening again. While he said he hopes to come back to San Francisco, Goldson made it clear that he hopes he doesn’t have to prove himself in 2013 the way he had to in 2011 and 2012.
He also mentioned that, while NaVorro Bowman deserved the long-term deal he received this season, he believes he has done enough to deserve the same kind of security. From Jim Harbaugh’s comments an hour later, the 49ers very well may agree with the first-team All-Pro safety’s stance.
The following is a transcript of Goldson’s interview.
What are your thoughts of a franchise tag two years in a row?
I’m not for that. I’d be surprised if they were to do that again.
You’re expecting a long-term deal from this team, or…
I’m not expecting anything. Somewhere, anywhere. Hopefully it’ll be this team, but I’m open to all 32 teams.
Do you think that you solidified yourself as one of the best safeties in the league this year?
I don’t know, that’s for everybody else to figure out. I just try to do my job. Just do the best that I can for my football team and put us in a position to win. I don’t think like that. Just from talks, people outside, they think so. And that’s cool, sounds good, but I’m just a football player trying to make plays.
You’ve been here for a while. You’ve obviously proven what kind of player you are. You think there’s a good fit to work something out?
Yeah, hopefully. Definitely. Staying positive, man. I hope something works out. I know where I want to be. I was in this position before and got my hopes up and it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. And it happens. But for me to come back I feel like they wanted me to prove myself again. And I think I did just that, so if I were to be in the situation again with the franchise, that’d be very surprising.
Do you take any optimism from the fact that they have been able to work things out with other guys? They’ve been slowly locking up guys like Bowman, Willis, Gore.
I think those guys that they got deals done with deserve them. NaVorro’s a great player, I think he deserved what he got. It was like, “Wow, okay.” But I had to stay focused on what was more important, and that was this team and getting to the Super Bowl.
With the franchise tag, is there too much risk involved because there’s no long-term…
There’s no security. I’ve been in this league six years now, going on seven. I think I’ve done what I have to do to deserve a second contract. Period. This franchise tag stuff is … it’s cool, it’s not that bad money, but everybody wants security. The job that I do and the position I play, there’s a lot that comes with the territory. So security is really something you want at that position, for sure.
(My question): Individually, do you feel like this was your best season?
I think I had plenty of seasons that were good. I don’t know if this was my best season. I just think I was comfortable this year. I was healthy. I think I did some good things for my team.
Did you look at the film of this game yet, or is it too soon? Will you look at it anytime soon?
Nah, I watched it. I watched it on the plane heading back to see what was going on. We weren’t doing the fundamental things. We tackled I think well, we just didn’t play good sound defense. Technique-wise, we didn’t do what we had to do. We came back in the second half, tightened up, made plays, got the ball for our offense.
You just said “wow,” referring to those other guys’ contracts. How does that make you feel when you saw those guys get signed long-term?
It didn’t make me feel no way, really. It was just like, they were getting deals done and I was in a position where I couldn’t get one done. It wasn’t any hard feelings, it was just like, “Okay.” But they respected me, they let me know before they signed guys. I had the heads-up, so I respect them for that.
Are you on Trent’s list to meet with him today?
I am, actually. Getting ready to meet with him in a minute.
Here is what Jim Harbaugh had to say about what Goldson has meant to the team.
“He’s somebody that you reward. He plays every game. Can find the ball. You know when he’s out there. Opposing offenses know that he’s out there. He tackles, does everything that you’d want a safety to do. And yeah, I feel like you reward those type of people. Who do you reward? You want to reward those type of people.”
Harbaugh is known to be quite literal with his public comments, so maybe he takes the franchise tag as a good reward, since it means a player is paid an average at what the top five highest-paid players are at his position. However, based on the way he reiterated how Goldson is the type of player you reward, it stands to reason that Goldson has a decent shot at getting the security he desires this offseason.