2011 NFL Free Agency: News Updates Impacting The 49ers

2011 NFL Free Agency marches on today and as sanfranfanmdk said in the comments, it's become a little like watching water waiting for it to boil. I'd say turn away for a few minutes and something will happen, but where's the fun in that? It's much easier to get overly-anxious waiting for the 49ers to make their first move.

News today brings a mix of possibilities for the 49ers. We've seen two moves today that could impact the 49ers. CB Richard Marshall signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals and DT Kelly Gregg signed a one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Marshall deal removes one more cornerback from the market, leaving Chris Carr, Carlos Rogers, Antonio Cromartie, and of course Nate Clements on the market. The 49ers would seem to need cornerback help and the market is dwindling.

Although, speaking of Clements, I've noticed something interesting about him. At 49ers.com, you can review the team roster. The roster does not include unsigned veteran free agents, released players (Heitmann, Nedney) or re-signed veterans like Alex Smith, Ray McDonald, etc. However, one player still listed on the roster page is Nate Clements. Is that just an oversight by the website staff? The team has never officially announced the release of Nate Clements, so I don't think the team has actually released him yet. Given that information, maybe they're currently still discussing a restructured contract with him. Or I'm just reading too much into this.

The other interesting move was the Chiefs decision to sign Kelly Gregg to a one-year contract. Although there are no guarantees, one could imagine Gregg slotting in as the Chiefs starting nose tackle this year. If that's the case, are the Chiefs no longer interested in (or maybe were never interested in) Aubrayo Franklin?

The Aubrayo Franklin free agency situation is unlike anything I recall seeing in recent years. I think a while back Jason La Canfora said most people thought Franklin would end up with the Chiefs (still trying to find a link for that), but otherwise there hasn't been a single rumor about Franklin. They say, "Where there's smoke there's fire." Well, I've got to think this is just about the exact opposite of that situation. There isn't even the smell of smoke.

If there are no offers out there for Franklin, I have to admit I'd be surprised. He's a solid player and even though he struggled at the start of last year, one would imagine he did enough last year to generate some kind of interest. I suppose things could be entirely on the down low, but given the way the Internet operates, if he was getting interest, wouldn't we have heard something about it?

Does this mean he ends up back in San Francisco? Isaac Sopoaga was told on the first day of camp that he was penciled in as the starting nose tackle, although I suppose that really doesn't mean much in the NFL when anybody can steal a job at a moment's notice. Will we see Aubrayo Franklin back in San Francisco in 2011? Possibly even at a decently priced contract?

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