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The 6-foot-1, 317-pound Franklin figures to compete with 2010 fifth-round pick Cam Thomas for the backup nose tackle job behind incumbent starter Antonio Garay, who was re-signed to a two-year, $6.6 million contract on March 30.
Financial terms of Franklin's contract were not disclosed, but deals this close to training camp generally do not contain much financial guarantees.
A 2003 fifth-round draft pick out of Tennessee by the Baltimore Ravens, Franklin has 204 tackles and four sacks in his nine-year career. Franklin spent four seasons with the Ravens before moving on to the San Francisco 49ers, where he played from 2007 through 2010. In his final season with the 49ers, Franklin played under the franchise tag (worth $7.003 million).
Franklin, who turns 32 in August, started nine of 16 games for the 2011 New Orleans Saints, totaling 17 tackles while appearing in 27.3 percent of the team's defensive snaps. The Saints added free agent Brodrick Bunkley and re-signed Remi Ayodele, taking Franklin out of the mix for a return in 2012.