Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Goldson priority for 49ers
Safety anticipates long-term contract
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will make it a priority to re-sign franchise safety Dashon Goldson to a long-term contract this offseason -- something the defender believes he has more than earned after helping his team reach the Super Bowl.
"He's somebody that I think you reward," Harbaugh said Tuesday following his final team meeting of the season before players parted ways. "You know he's out there and opposing offenses know that he's out there. He tackles and does everything that you'd want a safety to do. I feel like you reward those type of people. Who do you reward if you don't reward those type of people?"
The 28-year-old Goldson has played on one-year contracts the past two seasons, including the 2012 franchise tag of $6.2 million, and made it clear he's "not for that" again. He had 69 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble this season as San Francisco returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years.
Goldson was among the players scheduled to meet with general manager Trent Baalke on Tuesday as they packed up their lockers and headed out for the offseason following Sunday's 34-31 loss to Baltimore in New Orleans.
Goldson has seen plenty of others in his own locker room receive lengthy deals. In late November, linebacker NaVorro Bowman got a five-year extension through the 2018 season worth $45.25 million, with $25.5 million in guaranteed money.
"I think he deserved what he got. It was like a little, like, 'Wow, OK,' but I had to think about what was more important and that was this team and getting to the Super Bowl," Goldson said.
When asked whether keeping Goldson for the long haul is among his top priorities, Harbaugh said, "I think that's very fair to say."
If the runner-up Niners (13-5-1) don't end up offering Goldson what he wants so he can stay put where he prefers, he said Tuesday he would pursue opportunities with any of the other NFL teams.
"I'm not expecting anything. Somewhere. Anywhere. Hopefully, it will be this team. But I'm open to all 32 teams," Goldson said.
There are other pressing matters as San Francisco heads into another offseason with the sting of coming so close. Like what to do with backup quarterback Alex Smith.
Smith, who lost his starting job in November to Colin Kaepernick, did not make an appearance in the locker room during the portion open to the media Tuesday but very well could be leaving for good. A large box of his belongings was being packed -- including the game ball he received from the season-opening win at Green Bay and a couple of others, along with a half-dozen 49ers hats.
Smith is guaranteed $1 million from the 49ers, and that would become $8.5 million guaranteed -- his 2013 salary -- if he is still on the roster on April 1. San Francisco still could trade him after that day, with another team likely picking up his salary.
Wideout Randy Moss made his exit without a word Tuesday. He said last week ahead of the Super Bowl that he wants to play another season, but certainly wants more of a role than he had in San Francisco. He expressed that to Harbaugh.