Dashon Goldson made it clear that he wants a long-term contract and not the franchise tag for the second straight year.
"I felt that they wanted me to prove myself, and I think I did just that," the 49ers safety said Tuesday as he was cleaning out his locker. "So if I was in the position again with the franchise tag, I'd be very surprised."
***Update*** When Jim Harbaugh later was asked about Goldson and his desire for a long-term contract, he said: "He's somebody that I think you reward. Plays every game, can find the ball. You know that he's out there. The opposing offense knows that he's out there. ... He just does everything you want a safety to do. And you reward those types of people."
Goldson is perhaps the most prominent of the 49ers who aren't signed beyond this season. He had arguably his best season in 2012, serving as a quasi fifth linebacker against the running game and playing in a secondary that, until the playoffs, snuffed out big pass plays. Goldson was hit with a number of personal-foul penalties but also established himself as one of the biggest hitters in the league. He has been named to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons.
The 49ers made Goldson their franchise player for the 2012 season, a designation that paid him $6.2 million. If they were to franchise him again in 2013, his salary would be 120 percent of his 2012 earnings, or about $7.45 million.
While Patrick Willis, Ahmad Brooks and NaVorro Bowman have struck lucrative, long-term deals in recent years, Goldson still is looking for his. He made it to the free-agent market two years ago but did not find any takers. Goldson wanted to be among the top-paid safeties in the league at that point, and he instead was forced to accept a very modest one-year deal with the 49ers in 2011.
"I was in this position before and it didn't work out the way I wanted it to," he said. "And that happens."
Goldson said the 49ers gave him the courtesy of a "heads up" before they announced the long-term deals for his fellow defenders. But he said he felt he was deserving of his own long-term contract and the security it brings.
"I think that guys that got deals done were deserving," Goldson said. "It was a little, like, 'Wow. Ok.' But I had to stay focused on what was more important, and that was the team and getting to the Super Bowl."
49ers pending free agents
CB Tramaine Brock (RFA)
OT Leonard Davis
S Dashon Goldson
LB Tavares Gooden
WR Ted Ginn
LB Larry Grant
OLB Clark Haggans
NT Ricky Jean Francois
WR Randy Moss
NT Isaac Sopoaga
TE Delanie Walker
-- Matt Barrows