Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin was a big reason why the 49ers improved with their pass rush last season and helped win games on defense for the 49ers by shutting down multiple Pro Bowl running backs last year. Franklin’s lone interception last season against Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was his most impressive play of the year as the Bears where on the 49ers one yard line poised to score. GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Singletary understand the value Franklin brings to the defense which is why they placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on him which means he can negotiate with other teams when free agency starts next month but the 49ers can match any offers or receive two first-round draft picks if he signs with another team. McCloughan said he will work with Franklin on a long-term contract to avoid him getting into the free agent market. Franklin will make a guaranteed $7 million this season with the tag. Franklin is only 29 years old and signed with the 49ers in 2007 and was a fifth-round draft pick in 2003 selected by the Ravens.
Franklin’s 2009 stats:
3 pass deflections
Singletary says Alex Smith is the starter
At the start of the NFL scouting combine yesterday Singletary said Alex Smith is the starter going forward.
“I’m always going to use words like ‘probably’ because I like competition. I like guys knowing that they’re always going to compete. But I feel very comfortable in saying Alex Smith is our starting quarterback going forward.”
This was a good move to name Smith the starter so early in the off-season because of how long it took Singletary to name the starter last year. Smith is the best option for the 49ers as there are no starting quarterbacks available in free agency and even if the 49ers select a quarterback at any point in the draft they will not be ready to start next season. The 49er Faithful should be excited about Smith being the man under center. He showed a lot of promise last year which I did not expect after he was out for almost a year and a half due to injuries. Backup Shaun Hill is just that, a backup and Nate Davis is a long way from being ready to be a starter in the NFL. Another reason to be excited with Smith as the starter is that this will be the first time in his career that he has had the same offensive coordinator, Jimmy Raye, in back-to-back seasons. Next year is Smith’s make or break year and his last chance to brush off the one number draft pick bust label.
Topics: 49ers 49ers 49ers 2009 Season 49ers 2009 Training Camp 49ers Injuries 49ers New Stadium 49ers Offensive Coordinator 49ers Preseason 49ers QB 49ers Quarterback 49ers Training Camp 2009 Free Agency Adam, 49ers Place Non-exclusive Franchise Tag On Franklin, Singletary Says Alex Smith Is The Starter