Here is the opening to my Tuesday column about the 49ers:

Grab a cup of coffee. Pull up a chair. And let’s talk Niners.

The Scouting Combine is over, the draft looms, and it’s time to take stock of the almost-Super Bowl champs by asking a simple question: What issues do they face?

They must decide if they want to keep free safety Dashon Goldson or let him go. He wants $8 million per year for five years, and he’s worth it. (On Monday, the 49ers declined to slap the franchise tag on him.) But eight big ones may be more than the 49ers can afford, especially when they already are paying big bucks to Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks and Carlos Rogers. The 49ers have one of the most expensive defenses in the league.

But if they let Goldson go, they have to replace him. That means finding a new quarterback for the defense, and that’s risky. And there’s something else. Goldson’s main skill is hitting. As we saw in the playoffs, the Niners’ defense needs coverage and pass rush. They certainly have an issue with Goldson.

To read the full column, click here.