Since getting drafted in 2007 by the San Francisco 49ers, Dashon Goldson has steadily made his imprint in the NFL. After playing sparingly in his first two seasons, the free safety broke out in 2009 with 94 combined tackles, three forced fumbles and four interceptions. Goldson has also begun to earn the respect of his peers, as he was named a member of the Pro Bowl team for a second straight year, while making his first All-Pro Team in 2012. With those accolades under his belt, he has earned the nickname “The Hawk.”
Goldson, 28, and Donte Whitner, 27, make up one of the best young safety tandems in the league. Keeping them together should sit atop the 49ers’ to-do list during the off-season, as their physical style of play symbolizes San Francisco’s hard-hitting defense.
However, Goldson’s aggressiveness can also be a curse at times. This past season, he has been flagged for five unnecessary roughness penalties while racking up a total of $46,750 in fines. His rough play can hurt the team on occasion, but the positives that he brings far outweigh the negatives. The free safety’s vicious hits set the tone for his defense, but he also has a nose for the ball. During the last two seasons, Goldson led the 49ers with nine interceptions.
Out of the 49ers’ starting defensive unit, only Goldson and Isaac Sopoaga are scheduled free agents. Maintaining continuity within a football team is key to becoming a successful franchise. If the 49ers return a playmaker like Goldson, that’s one less uncertainty that they’ll have on their roster.
After playing under the franchise tag for the previous two years, Goldson is eying a long-term deal. He stated that he would prefer to remain in San Francisco, but is open to going to any organization that will offer him the security that he desires. With 11 other players set to become free agents along with the inevitable departure of Alex Smith, the 49ers have a reasonable shot to re-sign the six-year veteran.
If San Francisco wants to make another run at the Super Bowl, they better not let “The Hawk” fly away.
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