Safety Dashon Goldson and the 49ers were unable to reach a multiyear contract before Monday's 1 p.m. deadline, a 49ers spokesman confirmed.
Goldson can collect only his $6.2 million tender this season as the 49ers' designated "franchise" player in free agency. He said last week he'd play on that one-year franchise tag rather than boycott the season without a multiyear deal.
"If I have to play for the tag, I'll play for the tag," Goldson told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "But any guy would love long-term security. ... If not, I'll still be a 49er."
Monday was the league-imposed deadline for clubs to either reach multiyear deals with franchise players or scuttle such pacts until the season ends. The 49ers could place the franchise tag on him again next year, at the cost of nearly $7.4 million.
Goldson's status is the 49ers' biggest contract quandary heading into training camp, which officially begins July 26 when all players must report to the 49ers' Santa Clara facility. (Rookies report Saturday and will hold their first practices of training camp Monday and Tuesday.)
Goldson, entering his sixth NFL season, has yet to sign that one-year tender, and it's unknown when he'll report to camp. He was not available for comment Monday, and his agent, Ben Dogra, did not return messages seeking comment.
The 49ers return all their defensive starters coming off their breakout NFC-runner-up season. Linebacker Ahmad Brooks and cornerback Carlos
Last year, Goldson turned down a reported five-year, $25 million offer from the 49ers and couldn't strike a deal elsewhere in free agency. He returned to the 49ers during training camp on a one-year, $2 million deal. Goldson then produced a career-high six interceptions, the second-most among NFL safeties and one shy of the total by San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle.
Two particular plays served as bookends to Goldson's stellar 2012 season: He recovered a win-clinching fumble Oct. 2 at Philadelphia, and he intercepted a Drew Brees pass in an epic playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 14.
Goldson, however, wasn't flawless. While his aggressive approach fit the 49ers' style, it also left the secondary vulnerable on occasion. Known as a hard hitter, that reputation took on new meaning when he got ejected from a Nov. 20 game against the Arizona Cardinals for brawling with wide receiver Early Doucet.
After the 49ers fell in the NFC Championship game to the New York Giants on Jan. 22, Goldson skipped the Pro Bowl because of a sore ankle. He did not participate in the 49ers' offseason program.
For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers.