Franklin designated 49ers’ franchise player

In a move the 49ers have planned since November, the club today officially announced it has assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag to nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, who was scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

 

FranFranklin.jpgThe 49ers have, in essence, taken Franklin off the free-agent market with a one-year, $7.003 million tender – or the average of the top-five salaries at the position.

 

“Aubrayo has proven to be a valuable contributor to our defense and we are looking forward to having him on our team going forward,” general manager Scot McCloughan said in a statement. “Although a contract extension has not been completed at this time, we will continue to have discussions with Aubrayo and his agent.”

 

Franklin is free to negotiate with other teams. But if he signs an offer sheet from another club, the 49ers would have the power to match the terms of the contract to retain his services. If the 49ers declined to match, the club would be awarded two first-round draft picks as compensation. But a league source said he believed the 49ers would accept one first-round draft pick as compensation in a trade for Franklin’s rights. The NFL trade period begins March 5.

 

Franklin has concluded the three-year, $6 million contract he signed to join the 49ers in 2007 after spending his first four NFL seasons as a backup with the Ravens.

It is just the fourth time in franchise history the 49ers have used the franchise designation. The 49ers last placed the tag on linebacker Julian Peterson in 2004. Prior to that, the 49ers tagged receiver Terrell Owens in 1999 and quarterback Steve Young in 1993. The 49ers signed Owens and Young to long-term deals.

 

Franklin becomes the second player in the NFL to official receive the franchise tag. Earlier this week, the New England Patriots tagged defensive tackle Vince Wilfork for the same price as Franklin.

 

* * *

 

The Tennessean reported today the 49ers have visited with free-agent defensive end/outside linebacker Travis LaBoy, who sat out last season with an injury. The 49ers entertained the prospect of signing him a year ago before learning he would require reconstructive foot surgery.

 

* * *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *