49ers Have Some Safeties to Sort

Decision to bring back Goldson means team now has nine safeties to battle it out through training camp for starting jobs, roster spots.

By Doug Williams
|  Monday, Aug 15, 2011  |  Updated 10:27 AM PDT
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49ers Have Some Safeties to Sort

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The Niners decided to bring back Dashon Goldson as one of nine safety-position candidates they have in camp.

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There may be safety in numbers, but can there be too many numbers at safety?

Right now, that seems to be the case for the San Francisco 49ers.

Dashon Goldson re-signed this week, after the team already had picked up free agents Donte Whitner (Bills) and Madieu Williams (Vikings). Those names are now in the mix, reports Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, along with Taylor Mays, Reggie Smith, C.J. Spillman, Curtis Taylor, Chris Maragos and sixth-round pick Colin Jones.

Goldson, 26, has been a Niners starter the past two seasons.

Suddenly, the team has safeties to spare – that’s nine if you’re scoring at home -- even if it does trade Mays, who’s reportedly on the market.

Outsiders might see a giant question mark, but not the head coach.

“I feel good with the talent in the secondary, and I think that really makes the competition that much better,” Jim Harbaugh told USA Today, adding he believes the battle for jobs is a positive. “Iron sharpens iron.”

The re-signing of Goldson was a surprise, however. Goldson tweeted last week after the signing of Williams that he thought he was gone. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told the San Francisco Chronicle he’s not sure where Goldson fits in, because he has yet to see him perform.

The team’s initial depth chart lists Whitner as No. 1 at strong safety. Smith was listed as the starter at free safety, but is now out for a few weeks (torn meniscus).

Smith’s injury further clouds the picture of what Barrows calls “the safety soap opera.”

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