Niners free agent Franklin willing to test market

Posted March 19, 2011 @ 1:14 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

We hear the odds remain better than 50-50 that the 49ers will re-up with free-agent NT Aubrayo Franklin. But, with the Niners and Franklin apparently differing somewhat on the former franchise player’s current worth, we also hear Franklin is looking forward to investigating other potential landing spots once the free-agent market opens. “His leverage isn’t all that great because he really did not have that good a year in 2010,” one team insider said of Franklin. “But if they let him go, you can be sure (LBs Takeo) Spikes and (Patrick) Willis will not be happy.” Spikes is also a free agent who is getting up in years, but he played surprisingly well last season and looks like a keeper — at the right price. Should Franklin move on, the current front-runner to replace him as the starting nose tackle would be third-year pro Ricky Jean Francois. “He looked really good last preseason,” the insider said. “But he needs more seasoning.”