The 49ers have lost important pieces in free agency on both sides of the football in the accelerated off-season. The most anticipated loss during free agency I thought was nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin. Franklin was supposed to demand top-dollar as he was the best nose tackle available in a shallow free agency pool. The 49ers would like for Franklin to re-sign but with the contact he wants, the team re-signing Ray McDonald to a starter like salary and defensive end Isaac Sopoaga moving to nose tackle it seems Franklin’s departure is inevitable.
Or is it?
Franklin visited with GM Trent Baalk yesterday and also met again on Monday at 49ers team facilities. The 49ers waiting game in re-signing Franklin is paying off. Other defensive linemen that have signed contracts like new Redskins player Barry Cofield and Seahawk Brandon Mebane have contracts paying $5-6 million per year. With these guys off the market before Franklin he cannot demand that type of money so the 49ers would be an attractive place to play for the nose tackle mainly because of familiarity. I would think Franklin would both want to get paid a good contract and stay in San Francisco which is more likely now.
Having Franklin re-sign and continue holding down the middle of the D-line would be a welcomed addition. However the 49ers might get stuck with all three of the D-linemen making between $4-6 million this year. But the presence of a run stopper like Franklin in the middle could be worth the price.