49ers' priority Goldson seeks security of long-term deal
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SANTA CLARA -- Dashon Goldson is ready for some stability.

The 49ers safety played under the franchise tag this year, signing for one year and $6.212 million, and he doesn't want it again, despite the promised raise to $7.454 million.

Goldson stated his case before a half-cleaned out locker Tuesday: "I think I've done what I need to deserve a second contract. Period. This franchise stuff, it's cool, it's really not that bad. It's money. But everybody wants that check. And the job that I do, the position that I play, it's a lot.

"Security is something that you really want at that position, for sure."

Considering Goldson had reportedly racked up more than $70K in NFL fines by Christmas this year, the desire is understandable.

Goldson has watched his team reward fellow defensive standouts Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks with long-term contracts, and, to the 49ers' credit, was informed of each deal prior to the public announcement.

The time might have come for the six-year veteran safety. Head coach Jim Harbaugh classified Goldson as one of the 49ers' offseason priorities Tuesday.

"He's somebody that you reward," Harbaugh said Tuesday. "Who do you reward if you don't reward those type of people?"

Goldson was named to the Pro Bowl for his second consecutive season, earning All Pro honors along the way. And while he doesn't see 2012 as his best personal year since being drafted by the 49ers in 2007, he was proud of the way he played.

"I was comfortable, stayed healthy and I think I did some good things for this team," Goldson said.

He and fellow defensive back Donte Whitner did enough good things to become the first pair of starting Pro Bowl safeties from the same team since Philadelphia's Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis in 2005, and Whitner knows just how valuable his partner is.

"We want Dashon back," Whitner said flatly. "We all know we need him. The players know we need him. The coaches know we need him. I don't know how everybody else feels."

Just who he meant by "everybody else" is up for debate, but if you knew that Goldson had afternoon plans to sit down with general manager Trent Baalke as one of the team's unrestricted free agents, you might assume he was sending a message to the 49ers front office.

"If we want to keep this thing together and make another run at it, we need to keep the good players and the Pro Bowl players here," Whitner said. "That's what you have to do."

The locker room was closed to media members at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, leaving Goldson to discuss his future with the general manager.