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49ers Franchise Tag: Aubrayo Franklin Looking At Extension Instead?

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Yesterday Matt Maiocco reported that the 49ers are apparently a bit reluctant to use their franchise tag on Aubrayo Franklin this year. Before the CBA officially expires in March teams will apparently have the ability to use franchise and/or transition tags. A new CBA could change the values and what they mean, but for now the tags are in play.

As Maiocco indicated (and the current CBA requires), if the 49ers wanted to place the franchise tag on Franklin for the second straight year, it would require the higher of a salary of approximately $8.4 million or the 2011 franchise tag number. Maiocco linked to Mac's Football Blog (a fairly respectable source), which projected the franchise tag could go as high as $12.381 million. It's only a projection, but there reasoning as to the effect of Albert Haynesworth and Richard Seymour's contracts seems to make some sense.

Maiocco indicated a contract extension seemed more likely than the franchise tag. It seems likely that any contract extension wouldn't happen until after a new CBA is hammered out. The NFL and NFLPA have one more month before the CBA expires and a potential lockout begins. At this point it's fairly difficult to figure out what will happen with extensions because of the uncertainty.

Aubrayo Franklin had a very strong year in 2009, but then struggled in 2010. He picked it up at times, but missing training camp seemed to impact him. Is Franklin a guy the 49ers need to lock up this offseason with some kind of long term deal? If so, how long are we talking? Feel free to factor in the CBA however you'd like. Either way I can't see him getting more than a 4-year deal at most.