Goldson knows fate while others wait

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
2:21
PM ET
The San Francisco 49ers have announced their decision to name safety Dashon Goldson their franchise player in 2012.

This had to be an easy move for the team.

Goldson earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time last season. The 49ers drafted him in 2007. That combination -- acclaimed and home-grown -- makes Goldson a candidate for a long-term deal. But the franchise tag's deflated value for safeties removed any urgency for the 49ers to get a deal done now.

Projections have called for safeties to receive one-year offers worth $6.2 million as franchise players. However, the league has not yet announced the exact value. An agent I spoke with Friday said he expected projected franchise values to fall slightly once the NFL puts out official salary-cap figures for 2012.

The value for safeties will fall significantly from $8.8 million last year. The drop reflects changes in how the NFL and its players calculate tag values, as determined through collective bargaining.

Running back is another position valued less this year, with the projected one-year tag worth $7.7 million. That relatively affordable number, up from $6.323 million for Shaun Alexander seven years ago, puts pressure on Seattle's Marshawn Lynch to get a long-term deal done.

Teams generally aren't rushing out to pay running backs, anyway. In this case, the Seahawks could name Lynch their franchise player for 2012 and even 2013, then move on with a younger player at the position. For Lynch, the goal becomes commanding more guaranteed money than he would receive as a two-time franchise player.

Arizona's Calais Campbell is another candidate for the tag among NFC West players. The Cardinals have said they'll keep their young defensive end one way or another. Franchising him would set Campbell's one-year value somewhere in the $10.6 million range. Kent Somers expects that to happen Friday.

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