Dashon Goldson has no plans to sign his franchise tag tender any time soon, and that's not necessarily a bad thing for the 49ers. Sure, there's something to be said for having all 11 defensive starters on hand for offseason workouts, the camaraderie, the cohesion, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But Goldson wasn't around last year, either. In fact, he didn't join the team until a week and half into training camp. The result: he finished tied for the team lead in interceptions (including a big one against the Saints in the playoffs), went to his first Pro Bowl and had the best season of his career. That is, he's shown a full offseason is not a prerequisite for a good year.
Furthermore, Goldson's absence gives the younger players more exposure. As of now, C.J. Spillman is filling in at free safety when the first-team defense takes the field. The 49ers signed Spillman to a three-year extension this offseason. Spillman may be the most physically gifted of all of the team's safeties - he's certainly one of the more aggressive - but he lacks experience.
Newcomers Mark LeGree and Trenton Robinson, a sixth-round draft pick, also get a bit more action with Goldson's absence.
Fellow safety Donte Whitner wasn't wrong last week when he said Goldson would be in the Bay Area this week. Goldson, according to a source, was here over the weekend visiting his family, who live in the Bay Area. Goldson is currently in South Florida.
If he signs his franchise tender, he will make $6.2 million in 2012, which is more than he's made his first five years in the league. The 49ers, however, also would have the option of franchising him next year.
-- Matt Barrows