In updating the ESPNBoston.com "franchise-tag tracker" -- and how the tags relate to the Patriots -- safety Dashon Goldson's name stood out today.
Patriots followers might recall the Patriots had Goldson in for a free-agent visit last August. In fact, the team made him an offer.
Now, Goldson is the 49ers' franchise-tag player.
It's interesting to consider how things might have been different if Goldson signed with the Patriots, who had a season-long shuffle at safety and now have a noticeable need there.
Here is a snippet from Eric Branch's August piece in the San Francisco Chronicle recapping Goldson's visit with the Patriots:
Dashon Goldson didn't attract the interest he'd hoped for on the free-agent market, but he did get an offer from the New England Patriots.
One of the league's elite teams led by a defensive guru in Bill Belichick? Goldson said he considered the Patriots before deciding to "follow his heart" and re-sign a one-year contract with the Niners, who drafted him in 2007. Goldson's deal is reportedly worth $2 million.
"This is home for me," Goldson said after his first practice Wednesday. "This is where I want to be. Unfortunately, it didn't work out long-term. But in the bottom of my heart I wanted to be here and that's exactly what I did."
Perhaps if the Patriots blew Goldson away with a big offer, things might have been different. But it's easy to second-guess that now, and even then, it sounded like Goldson preferred to remain in the Bay Area.