***Update, 10:40 a.m.*** It's now official. The 49ers announced they had placed the franchise tag on Goldson. Said GM Trent Baalke in a statement: "Dashon has been a 49er since we selected him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. By using the franchise tag on Dashon, it affords us the opportunity to continue to work on a long-term contract with him, while also ensuring he will be a 49er for a sixth season, in 2012."
San Francisco safety Dashon Goldson long has been the logical choice to receive the franchise tag, and that designation is expected to come today, according to a source familiar with the process. If the 49ers keep the tag on Goldson during the 2012 season, he would earn approximately $6.2 million. The deadline for applying the tag is Monday.
While the tag prevents Goldson, 27, from testing his value on the open market, which he did last summer, the 49ers and his new agent can continue to negotiate a long-term contract through mid July. The 49ers offered Goldson, their top safety, a five-year, $25 million contract last year but it was rejected by Goldson and his then-agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Rosenhaus continued to shop Goldson on the open market, including to the Patriots, but he never received the desired offer, and Goldson ended up signing a one-year deal with the 49ers instead. Goldson parted ways with Rosenhaus last month and signed CAA, which represents several high-profile 49ers, including Alex Smith, Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith.
Goldson had the best season of his career in 2011, finishing the regular season with six interceptions and picking off the Saints' Drew Brees during the 49ers' divisional playoff win. He has long been a logical choice for the franchise tag given the difficulty of last year's negotiations and the fact that the tag number for safeties is lower than any other offensive and defensive position save tight end.
Another soon-to-be free agent the 49ers would like to have back, cornerback Carlos Rogers, has a franchise tag number of $10.6 million. Ahmad Brooks, who signed a six-year deal earlier this week, would have had a tag number of $8.8 million.
By giving Goldson the franchise tag, the 49ers will have secured three of their pending free agents - Brooks and safety C.J. Spillman are the others - for the 2012 season. They are currently negotiating with others with quarterback Alex Smith, Rogers, guard Adam Snyder and receiver Josh Morgan at the top of the list. The free agency period begins March 13.
-- Matt Barrows