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Last year, when Aubrayo Franklin signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, it was considered a great free agent signing and was a loss lamented by his original team, the San Francisco 49ers.
What a difference a year makes.
Franklin remains unsigned after failing to live up to expectations with the Saints last season. By no means was he expected to rack up any kind of sack numbers for the Saints, but Franklin was expected to be a key run-stopper and help occupy blockers to free up linebackers to make plays.
After Franklin registered a grand total of 12 tackles last season, it's no wonder people haven't been knocking down his door.
But fear not, Aubrayo Franklin fans—he will land somewhere in 2012.
Before a disastrous 2011, Franklin was seen as a key to the prolific production of 49ers Pro Bowler Patrick Willis. With Franklin absorbing blockers at the line of attack, Willis ran free from sideline to sideline, making plays everywhere.
Franklin will be 32 years old on opening day, and while he is probably on the downside of his career, he isn't totally over the hill by any stretch of the imagination. Adequate run-stuffers are a valuable commodity in the NFL, and the Falcons and Seahawks have already been sniffing around Franklin.
Even if he doesn't sign with either of those two teams, he'll end up somewhere.