The news broke in the last couple days that Julius Peppers was likely going to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent with a big time price tag. In the Peppers FanPost that went up yesterday I made a comment that I'd prefer to spend that kind of money on re-signing the assorted big free agents the 49ers will have in the coming seasons. There was some agreement with me, which is always nice, and also fairly logical (at least in my opinion).
In a post that would fall under the category "Great Minds Think Alike," MM wrote about a similar topic as far as the 49ers need to re-sign some of their young players approaching free agency. Of course, Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis were the first two mentioned. He also mentioned guys like Manny Lawson and Dashon Goldson next year, potentially Josh Morgan, and maybe Frank Gore depending on your thoughts about running backs approaching 30. He even pointed out the fact that Alex Smith is in the last year of his restructured deal, and if he takes a big step forward, the money might have to flow to him as well.
I wanted to look specifically at Dashon Goldson for now. Over the weekend, MM reported that Goldson switched agents and is now represented by Drew Rosenhaus and Rosenhaus Sports Management. For those not keeping track, Rosenhaus now represents seven members of the 49ers: Goldson, Frank Gore, Jason Hill, Moran Norris, Demetric Evans, Marcus Hudson and Chilo Rachal.
The gut reaction is to shake your head and say "Oh No." After you've gotten that out of your system, don't forget that in representing Frank Gore, Rosenhaus quickly locked up a 4 year deal the season after Frank the Tank set the franchise rushing record. Gore was in a great negotiating position, but the 49ers, Gore and Rosenhaus were able to work out an extension that benefited all parties involved (paying Gore, cap-friendly for the 49ers). Furthermore, Rosenhaus has always said he'd prefer his players get to camp while he works on a deal, rather than hold out. Obviously players still hold out, but it's certainly something to keep in mind.
In looking at the various 49ers coming up in free agency (list is after the jump, based on Maiocco's list), Goldson has to rank fairly high on the list of guys you want to re-sign. Aside from Davis and Willis, Goldson might rank as high as anybody. Yes he has his weaknesses on the field, but he took a big step forward in 2009. I'd imagine if the 49ers intend to extend him, it will happen after they make their free agency and draft moves. There is some debate as to whether Goldson should be moved to strong safety. I don't know if that plays into the 49ers decision at this point, but it's worth keeping in mind.
At this point, do you wait on extending Goldson? If the NFL ends up with a cap-less year, I remain convinced some teams will use that to front-load contracts to young stars. Assuming a labor deal gets worked out that includes a cap long term, those teams could suddenly have a ton of space after 2010 because of those front loaded deals. There are certainly budget issues for each team to consider, but it's one thought.
Scheduled free agents this year (15)
Shane Andrus (EFA), David Baas (RFA), Arnaz Battle (UFA), Dre' Bly (UFA), Ahmad Brooks (RFA), Thomas Clayton (EFA), Aubrayo Franklin (UFA), Walt Harris (UFA), Marcus Hudson (RFA), Tony Pashos (UFA), Mark Roman (UFA), Ricky Schmitt (EFA), Barry Sims (UFA), Jeff Ulbrich (UFA), Matt Wilhelm (UFA).
Signed through 2010 (15)
Diyral Briggs, Isaac Bruce, Vernon Davis, Demetric Evans, Dashon Goldson, Jason Hill, Shaun Hill, Manny Lawson, Ray McDonald, Brit Miller, Chris Patrick, Alex Smith, Takeo Spikes, Derek Walker, Tony Wragge.
Signed through 2011 (10)
Frank Gore, Eric Heitmann, Josh Morgan, Joe Nedney, Moran Norris, Chilo Rachal, Reggie Smith, Adam Snyder, Cody Wallace, Patrick Willis.
Signed through 2012 (12)
Kentwan Balmer, Glen Coffee, Nate Davis, Ricky Jean-Francois, Andy Lee, Michael Lewis, Scott McKillop, Michael Robinson, Isaac Sopoaga, Shawntae Spencer, Delanie Walker, Curtis Taylor
Signed through 2013 (5)
Tarell Brown, Nate Clements, Parys Haralson, Brandon Jones, Justin Smith
Signed through 2014 (2)
Michael Crabtree, Brian Jennings
Signed through 2017 (1)