Originally posted by NinerBuff:
The release of Franklin is a financial necessity. Franklin will be 31 by the time the season starts (if it starts), and a contract that would be big enough to keep him would essentially drain all other moneys for FA. NT is not the only position of need, we also need a CB, a C, a RG, and potentially another OLB. If we put all the money into an aging NT, we lose some leverage with the other FA positions as well as paying for diminishing returns with Franklin.
I do recognize that there will be degraded performance at the NT position in the 3-4, but Fangio has said that it will be a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense. In the hybrid defense, McDonald and Soapaga would play the DT position with the Mizzou Smiths playing DE. In a 3-4 allignment, Soapaga/McDonald slide to NT/DE (diminished play), with J.Smith at the other position.
In total, I don't think the loss of Franklin will spell doom for this defense. The run defense might drop slightly, but with the Mizzou Smiths and McDonald, the pass rush from the D-line will improve.
Prudent financial decision!
In a passing league, I would love for an offense to be forced to be patient with getting 4.5 yards a play per run.
The key down is the 3rd down and that's the down we need to stop. Most teams pass out of that down and if they run the ball, then it will be an obvious run situation and we can put the right BIG personnel on the field.
I would rather shut down the pass in today's NFL than get burned for big TD's over our CB's every game.