Fooch's Note: Don't forget to check out nocal's post about the Rams moves to date. We'll have a look at each team in the NFC West over the next few days.
As we head into the afternoon about set to wrap up the first weekend of NFL free agency, we've had a bit of news already being discussed in the previous threads. The most prominent for 49ers purposes is the fact that Aubrayo Franklin is finally in the news. Franklin will be visiting San Francisco on Monday to meet with 49ers coaches as he has not been able to find work elsewhere thus far.
It has been a quiet market for Franklin, which could be sufficiently lowering his asking price to the point where the 49ers don't see it as paying a premium. Isaac Sopoaga was told he would be the starting nose tackle, but things change pretty quickly in the NFL. If Franklin elected to return to San Francisco I would imagine it would a fairly short term deal.
Although the team's decision to re-sign Ray McDonald was viewed as the end of Franklin's time in San Francisco, it would be just as easy to develop some competition along the line. Sopoaga can be a solid player but he's not at a level where he's guaranteed a starting job. Instead bringing back Franklin creates much-needed depth for the team as they try and figure out the best options on the line.
If Franklin returned, I'd guesstimate the line would be Smith-Franklin-McDonald with Sopoaga, Ricky Jean Francois and Will Tukuafu competing for rotational playing time. And with guys like Ice and RJF being able to play some nose tackle, maybe we see a more prominent nose tackle rotation in 2011. This is of course the 49ers are able to work out something with him when he visits tomorrow.