The 49ers starting nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin who has held out all of training camp and the preseason is expected to sign his one-year tender worth $7 million. Franklin’s agent Todd France said the nose tackle will sign the week before the last exhibition game in order to get a week of contact before the season starts on September 12. Franklin is working out at his home in Atlanta and according to his agent he is in “unbelievable shape.”
I was surprised at the news for two reasons. First, the fact that Franklin has not signed yet I assumed he was going to sit out the season. Second, after hearing that Franklin plans on signing his tender but not until the week before the last preseason game I started thinking, why not sign now or even earlier in training camp if he was going to sign all along. Franklin is a veteran who knows the NFL is a business and if he has a great season like last year he knows his big payday is coming. I think holding out until the last second is a way for Franklin to show his bitterness in being tagged the 49ers franchise player. But the 49ers tagged him to say ‘show me your worth the big money’ while Franklin most likely would have reported to training camp earlier minus the tag. I wonder how receptive head coach Mike Singletary will be to starting Franklin in the season opener. Singletary has said he is not concerned about Franklin being out of shape because he has a great work ethic which coming from Singletary is huge. So the question of whether or not Franklin is in shape is moot but will he be the starter right away? With the same defensive coordinator returning and much of the same starters on defense Franklin will most likely start in week one. The 49ers don’t have better options at nose tackle on the roster so why sit Franklin. My only concern is his contact shape. Will one preseason game be enough for Franklin to get into contact shape in order to be effective on the first snap in week one?