For those of us who hadn't been paying attention (including yours truly), today is the deadline for NFL teams to come to terms on contract extensions with the players they tagged as franchise players. If the teams do not come to terms on extension by the end of the day, an extension cannot be worked on until the offseason. That leaves the player with signing his franchise tender or holding out for a trade and a subsequent contract extension with his new team.
Folks have been wondering why 49ers nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin had not signed his franchise tender at this point, and this might explain it. He wanted to do everything he could to get a contract extension worked out with the 49ers. Well, looks like that won't be happening. Jason La Confora tweeted:
49ers will not get an extension done with DT Aubrayo Franklin before Thurs deadline for franchise players to do so. A team official said...
There is "no chance" of a deal getting done by then. 49ers hope to get him locked up, but now must wait til after the season.
La Confora went on in an article at nfl.com:
The 49ers hoped to lock up Franklin to a long-term contract before the deadline, and there has been dialogue between both sides. However, a 49ers official said there is "no chance" an extension could be completed before Thursday.
Depending on the future collective bargaining agreement, Franklin could be designated a franchise player again in coming seasons. Regardless, the 49ers aim to secure Franklin's services past 2010, but they won't be able to do that until after the season.
At this point, I'd like to think we'll see Aubrayo Franklin in training camp on time. I suppose he could start posturing a bit, but there has been no indication from him that he would play that kind of game. I understand he's missed some practices, but that's common among franchise tag players. Obviously he could get hurt in training camp, but if things are generally voluntary as much of the training activities are, I can live with him missing them.
The upside to all this has been Ricky Jean-Francois getting all the first-team reps. He won't be surpassing Franklin on the depth chart this year, but maybe he can show a thing or two heading into next offseason.