The NFC champion 49ers could be in the market for a new starting safety.
San Francisco elected not to place the franchise tag on two-time Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson before Monday’s deadline to do so, making the hard-hitting safety an unrestricted free agent when the new league calendar begins March 12.
Goldson has expressed a desire for a long-term contract after he earned $6.2 million under the franchise tag during the 49ers’ run to the Super Bowl. Placing the tag on Goldson again would have cost the Niners $7.45 million next season.
Despite the lack of a deal, Goldson took to Twitter to indicate all is not lost for him and the Niners yet.
“I’m very thankful I didn’t get the franchise tag again but still hopeful this means something long term with the San Francisco 49ers!” he tweeted Monday.
Niners coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to be in Goldson’s camp after the season ended and indicated the team would be open to giving him a long-term deal.
“He tackles and does everything that you’d want a safety to do,” Harbaugh said. “And yeah, I feel like you reward those type of people.”
Goldson, who was drafted by the Niners in the fourth round in 2007, is one of several pivotal players the 49ers have to make decisions on in free agency after they chose not to franchise anyone. Other notable unrestricted free agents include defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, tight end Delanie Walker and receiver-returner Ted Ginn.
Akers could be cut: Kicker David Akers came under heavy scrutiny down the stretch of the 2012 season when he struggled mightily. Now, it appears as though he could be looking for work very soon.
According to a report by Adam Caplan of TheSidelineView.com, the 49ers plan to release the 38-year-old prior to the start of the new league season.
A year after he set the NFL record with 44 field goals made, Akers hit just 29-of-42 in 2012. Akers did indicate late in the season he was having issues from a sports hernia surgery he had performed in Feburary 2012.
Smith feels Niners were robbed: Niners linebacker Aldon Smith visited the ESPN facilities on Monday, and during a stop on “First Take,” he was probed about the team’s final offensive play where some felt pass interference should have been called on the Baltimore Ravens as San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree tried to make a possible game-winning TD catch. When he asked if he felt the 49ers were robbed, Smith replied “I think so.”