NEW ORLEANS -- After the 2011 lockout, the Patriots had free agent 49ers safety Dashon Goldson in for a visit and offered him a contract, but he returned to San Francisco for two years and was voted first-team All-Pro this year.
"I think the visit went well, man," Goldson said. "It was very nice. Got a chance to meet some of those guys, some of the players and coaches. Just a classy organization. Sat down with coach (Bill) Belichick, a good dude, sat there and talked football a little bit. It was a good event but I made the choice to come back here."
Goldson actually didn't have much of a choice. The Patriots offered Goldson a contract less than the one-year, $2 million deal he signed with the 49ers.
"Yeah," Goldson said when asked if it was a low offer. "And it was for one year, like San Francisco, so the choice was pretty easy."
Goldson said the chance to sit with Belichick for a few minutes made the trip worthwhile.
"Just the meeting alone," Goldson said. "I had a lot of respect for him, what he has done for the game of football and just giving me the opportunity to visit the organization."
Goldson, 27, may get that chance again. After playing for the franchise tag ($6.2 million) this year, Goldson will be a free agent if the 49ers don't tag him again ($7.44 million) or reach a contract extension by March 13. The Patriots, who will likely let Patrick Chung test the free-agent waters, will be looking for one or two safeties again this offseason.