San Francisco 49ers  


Veteran NT Franklin to end holdout, sign 49ers tender Saturday


Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin will sign his franchise tender and report to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, according to a league source.

Franklin has stayed away from training camp while hoping to work out a long-term contract extension. Instead, the seven-year veteran will play under the $7 million franchise tag this season.

Niners defensive coordinator Greg Manusky told reporters Thursday that he hadn't spoken to Franklin and didn't know when the lineman would report. But Manusky believes Franklin probably needs only one preseason game to prepare for the season.

"Playing the preseason games, even though some of the starters are only playing 15 plays or 16 plays, at least they're back in the rhythm and get their groove back," Manusky said. "You can't really replicate that out here (at training camp). But he'll be fine."

The 49ers will play the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night, but Franklin likely won't see action in that game. San Francisco's preseason finale is Sept. 2 against the San Diego Chargers.

Franklin, 29, was selected in the fifth round of the 2003 draft by the Baltimore Ravens, but he only started one game in four seasons with the team before joining the 49ers. He has emerged as a major force in the middle of San Francisco's defensive line, starting 44 games since 2007.

Franklin had 36 tackles, two sacks and one interception in 16 games last season.



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