Editor's Update: The 49ers emailed out the official release: They've applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to Franklin.
If Franklin were to receive a contract offer from another club, the 49ers will have the right to match the offer. If they choose not to match the offer, then the team would receive two first-round draft choices as compensation. The franchise tender will provide Franklin with a one-year contract equivalent to the average of the top five highest paid players at his position in the NFL.
“Aubrayo has proven to be a valuable contributor to our defense and we are looking forward to having him on our team going forward,” said general manager Scot McCloughan. “Although a contract extension has not been completed at this time, we will continue to have discussions with Aubrayo and his agent.”
In a move that has been a long time coming, ESPN is reporting that the 49ers have informed NT Aubrayo Franklin that they will give him the franchise tag. The franchise tag tender is $7,003,000 according to NFLLabor.com. Franklin has until later this summer to sign the tender offer if he and the 49ers cannot come to terms on a long term deal.
The question at this point is two-fold. 1) Will the 49ers get Franklin signed to a long-term deal this offseason (and do they even want); and 2) Do the 49ers develop, or have they already developed, a plan for a replacement if they don't get Franklin extended long term. There's been talk of rotating guys like Sopoaga and Balmer into the nose tackle role, but nothing this past season seemed to indicate that was a likely conclusion to this. So, what do you see happening long term with Franklin?