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Sunday, July 31, 2011
Could 49ers win bets on Franklin, Goldson?

By Mike Sando

The San Francisco 49ers have taken their chances with free agents this offseason, allowing quite a few of their own players to test the market.

Takeo Spikes and David Baas found deals elsewhere quickly.

Two more starters, Dashon Goldson and Aubrayo Franklin, reached free agency. Losing one or both would have stung, but the team was unwilling to pay a premium to keep them from the market.

Recent events suggest the 49ers could have a shot at retaining both players. The Oakland Raiders' agreement with safety Michael Huff appears to have removed them from the list of potential suitors for Goldson. And with ESPN's Adam Schefter reporting that Franklin plans to visit the team Sunday night, perhaps the 49ers are closer to bringing him back.

The market for defensive tackles has been softer than I had anticipated. Brandon Mebane re-signed with Seattle for about $5 million per season -- good money, to be sure, but not a blockbuster by NFL standards. Franklin's status as a former franchise player threatened to cloud his value after Albert Haynesworth's old deal with Washington inflated the franchise figure for defensive tackles.

Getting Goldson and Franklin back would affirm general manager Trent Baalke's contention that patience in free agency can work well for a team. Goldson and Franklin have more value than Spikes and Baas.