Online Extra: Safety Woodson meets with 49ers, Dorsey signs
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO — As safety Dashon Goldson landed his coveted long-term deal with Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers were already preparing to move forward without him.
Free agent defensive back Charles Woodson had a meeting with the NFC champion Niners in the Bay Area on Wednesday, according to his agent, Carl Poston.
Also Wednesday, former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Glenn Dorsey signed a two-year contract after meeting with the Niners. The deal could pay Dorsey up to $7 million with incentives, a person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms weren’t announced.
“We are very pleased to add Glenn to our team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “Glenn brings great versatility to our defensive front, and we look forward to his contributions on the field and in the community.”
Dorsey was a regular starter for the Chiefs in his first four NFL seasons, then played in only four games last year as he was limited by a left calf injury sustained in a September practice. It eventually landed him on season-ending injured reserve in November, and the former first-round draft pick finished the season with seven tackles and no sacks.
He is ready for a fresh start out West — with a Super Bowl team, no less.
“I really look forward to the opportunity,” Dorsey said. “I got the call from my agent and I hopped on a plane first thing.”
And animated defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was right there waiting to pick him up, “and he was talking 100 miles per hour.”
“He basically told me I’m going to have the opportunity to compete and play,” Dorsey said. “That’s all I need.”
When Dorsey was asked whether he ran into Woodson at team headquarters, he just chuckled and said, “No, uh-uh, no.”
The 36-year-old Woodson, released by the Green Bay Packers in a salary-cutting move on Feb. 15 with two years remaining on his contract, has one important thing in common with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh: They’re both former Michigan stars.
Woodson — an accomplished cornerback and safety — is plenty familiar with Northern California, too. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Oakland Raiders, who selected him No. 4 overall in the 1998 draft. Woodson has expressed that he hopes to play for a Super Bowl contender at this stage in his career.
A 15-year NFL veteran and the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner, Woodson missed nine games during the regular season for Green Bay because of a broken right collarbone. But if he stays healthy, his ball-hawking defense could be a strong fit in a San Francisco secondary featuring Donte Whitner and Carlos Rogers— even at Woodson’s age.
Woodson, an eight-time Pro Bowler, won 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors and was the 1998 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
“Class. Professionalism. Incredible talent. Leader,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers posted Wednesday on Twitter to describe Woodson.
Goldson signed a $41.25 million, five-year deal that includes $22 million in guaranteed money, a person with knowledge of the contract told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Bucs didn’t announce terms of the contract. Goldson is due to earn $8.25 million per season.
Goldson was vocal about how he didn’t want to stay with the 49ers on a one-year deal after playing each of the past two seasons on such short commitments. While Harbaugh said two days after the 34-31 Super Bowl loss to Baltimore that keeping Goldson long-term was expected to be a high priority this offseason, that no longer seems to be the thinking of the franchise as it looks to build on last season’s run to the title game.
A year ago, Baalke retained all 11 defensive starters as San Francisco defended its NFC West crown and took a bigger step by reaching the team’s first Super Bowl in 18 years.
Dorsey is eager to join that unit and get started in Vic Fangio’s defense.
“I sat down with Justin Smith, he’s a funny guy, has a lot of passion,” Dorsey said. “He just told me, ‘Glenn, get ready to work hard.’ He likes to talk about football, he lives football. I’m ready to get some of his knowledge and work hard.”
Dorsey said he will play nose tackle if asked. Isaac Sopoaga signed with the Eagles on Tuesday.
“I’m OK with anything, whatever coach wants me to do, honestly,” Dorsey said. “I know coming here I can play anywhere.”
At about 297 pounds, Dorsey said, “I’m still a work in progress.”
Now, Baalke is working to build a team to get back there and win the sixth Lombardi Trophy in team history.
Among his other priorities this offseason is finding a backup quarterback to Colin Kaepernick after 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick Alex Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday at the start of the league’s free agency period.
Smith was formally introduced Wednesday.
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