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Forget About the Secondary - NT Is Now a HUGE Concern for 2010

Barrows recently quoted and has said that Franklin will not be attending a "mandatory" mini-camp and is not "required" to do so because he's not technically under contract because he hasn't signed his tender.

Add to this the fact the 49ers have not sought after improving depth AT ALL at the NT position. I like what I've read about Ricky Jean-Francios, but he's not a starter. You should be at least somewhat concerned as a 49er fan that the only guy who took 85% of the snaps at NT last season with the club having no viable alternative as a starter is disgruntled, not showing up and may not be worth a huge extension.

I hope the 49ers aren't following the Scott McCloughan philosophy of dealing with potentially critical problems until the last minute (Marvel Smith). I hope Baalke and Tomsula are evaluating talent around the league and have identified players who can come in an at provide depth. Soap is a terrible NT. Evans is way undersized. This leaves a ton of defensive ends on the team.

We all know the 3-4 is toast against the run if LBs like LaBoy and Brooks will not pressure the passer if the NT isn't at least effective in holding the point of attack. Jean-Francios has not proven he can start, let alone handle 80% of the snaps as a starter. It took Franklin 3 season.

I hope there's a plan.

[ Edited by NinerGM on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:28:49 ]
Patrick Willis is the plan

Im sure Franklin will not hold out into the season, he will probably be there at training camp
It's a 3 day mini camp it would be a big deal if he wasn't showing up for TC. I'm not concerned at this point. I agree that the team did seem to pretty much skip over adding depth/youth to the NT, We have to wait and see what RJF can actually do.
Good post. If it is a worst case scenario - is here anyone out there worth signing that could play the position effectively? Not a stud superstar but play it it at an efffective level.
f**k franklin. ONE decent year and he suddenly thinks he's Albert Haynsworth?
even if he does sign, we should be concerned... Lets say he gets injured, then we are still in the same boat.
  • DJD
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The dude is not under contract, has no long term security and wants a long term deal. Risking injury at a mini-camp is a risk not worth taking for a player in that situation. Don't read more into it than that.
Originally posted by lamontb:
It's a 3 day mini camp it would be a big deal if he wasn't showing up for TC. I'm not concerned at this point. I agree that the team did seem to pretty much skip over adding depth/youth to the NT, We have to wait and see what RJF can actually do.

a 3-day mini-camp with every vet in camp? and it's officially designated a "mandatory" camp? When was the last time you heard a 49er sitting out a mandatory camp outside of Crabtree? It's been a very, very long time.

There is cause for concern here especially since there is no NFL-starting caliber back-up. Jean-Francios is a PS player IMHO. I like him, I just don't think he's a starter.

WARNING WILL ROBINSON - this was the same approach we took with Marvel Smith and we convinced ourselves Snyder was actually a starter. Remember how that ended? A failed offense and 2 draft picks on the OL. Do we really need to blow up the season because we can't plan ahead a bit?

I would like to not take a NT with our 1st round pick

[ Edited by NinerGM on Jun 16, 2010 at 08:49:18 ]
Originally posted by DJD:
The dude is not under contract, has no long term security and wants a long term deal. Risking injury at a mini-camp is a risk not worth taking for a player in that situation. Don't read more into it than that.

I understand Franklin's view. This is not a criticism of Franklin.

I see the team - I don't really care that much about an individual player vis-a-vis how his performance or lack thereof affects the entire team.

I am solely looking at this from the team's view and how to circumvent Franklin's need for a long-term security vs the 49ers not wanting to possibly overpay a somewhat unproven player could affect the defensive play and chances at the play-offs.

The chances of this becoming a hold-out because he knows the 49ers do not have any other starter of the roster are high. I'm just saying the 49ers need to plan for this. Look around the league; there are a lot of players threatening to sit out, demanding trades, looking for longterm deals.

Teams are just as much interested in security especially given there's no collective bargaining agreement. I invest tens of millions in a player who may not even play next season - and he get the guaranteed money immediately? Sure I do that for my bona fide, proven, blue chip players but as an organization, I don't do that for someone who until this season had a great year - oh and it happened to be his contract year.

[ Edited by NinerGM on Jun 16, 2010 at 09:03:37 ]
by the time TC and the season rolls around, we'll all have forgotten all about this hold out.
Originally posted by SybErkRimInAL:
f**k franklin. ONE decent year and he suddenly thinks he's Albert Haynsworth?


Couldnt agree more. Franklin has no leverage hes almost 30 years old. And besides RJF will be a beast. People forget there was never a question of RJF's talent. If the niners had any doubt they would have atleast had talks with Franklin and I havent heard any.
now is a huge concern? its been a huge concern for the past two seasons
I think it is a concern because after Franklin we don't have any depth. If Fanklin gets injured, then the D is done. RJF has a long way to go to becoming a starting caliber NT.
  • Kolohe
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Well there is always the supplemental draft, I wonder if there will be a decent NT.
Great points all especially GM!

I fully concur with your point of view, GM. Franklin's hold out is a serious cause for concern because of his importance to THIS defense. Ice, RJF and Balmer are no where near Franklin's ability and experience in THIS D. I am afraid that Franklin sees his power and is willing to wield it even on his team and organization..."What have you done for ME lately?"

He knows his value and importance to this team. Others decided to join and sign waivers. Why not him or Manny for that matter? Franklin's decision to stay away in a year where consistency is the key for success only places a greater strain on the one position needed to anchor our D in the middle and against the run. Dang, just when we are on the verge!

Alright, let's play the other side of the fence and his impact by staying away. Let's say he stays away from camp. Now what? This becomes even more of an issue because of the timing involved. So whose going to take his place, hmmm? Ice? RJF? Balmer? These three are not even at his level so GM's point is a very serious and valid one.

Like GM, I sincerely hope the front office has its contingency plan in place and I really do believe they do. As GM knows about my faith in this new tri-fecta in Jed, Trent and Mike especially Jed, I see a trend to right wrongs. Back when McC was on board I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but obviously he cheesed at his personal life that severely impacted his ability to perform his GM duties, huh GM? Best thing that happened, truly.

Now Baalke takes over with this situation. Given his experience, all the information on the web about his character, and new job, I see him being able to handle this or it will bite him in the butt. This is going to get stickier before it gets better because of Franklin's stance.

IMO, I see Baalke having an eye on next year's draft as his replacement where they don't want to sign Franklin to a long term deal because of the value they can get with a youngin. That means that we can expect maybe two years of this where Franklin will be franchised again allowing more opportunities for the rook and RJF. I can see Franklin getting late into camp to the last possible moment.

It just makes sense. Ultimately, I see Franklin being on the outside lookin' in. I think that Jed wants to take care of Vernon and Dashon before Franklin, but that is just me. There are too many of own players who need and want extensions. I just don't see Franklin's value being as high as the other in the brass's eyes.

Am I off in this line of thinkin?

[ Edited by ninertico on Jun 16, 2010 at 09:33:19 ]