San Francisco 49ers fans have good reason to get caught up in optimistic preseason euphoria during this year's training camp, what with all the rookie success on the offensive line and Patrick Willis' highly entertaining demolition of Brett Favre.
Fans may have forgotten that the 49ers' franchise player has been engaged in a holdout for nearly the last month, and has been nowhere to be seen.
Anybody remember Aubrayo Franklin? Arguably the best nose tackle in the NFL? The only player in the entire NFC West who has been franchised? The only nose tackle in the NFL to notch an interception last season?
Franklin and the 49ers are engaged in about the quietest and most pleasant holdout in the history of salary disputes. But according to David White of the San Francisco Chronicle, this holdout is coming to an end.
Mr. White covers the 49ers for the Chronicle. His Twitter reportings indicate that Franklin's signing of a contract extension and returning to the 49ers will occur "likely next week, says a team source".
This is consistent with what other 49ers beat writers are hearing. Matt Maiocco of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area called it a couple of weeks back, saying that Franklin's holdout "avoids the inherent risk of the first few weeks of training camp. My guess is that he signs two weeks before the start of the regular season."
"Two weeks before the start of the regular season" would be this coming Sunday.
The 49ers have offered Franklin a franchise deal of one year, $7 million. Franklin wants $7 million per year for several years in a row.
Franklin could just take the one-year deal right before the season starts with no financial consequences.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is more worried about the Ike's Sandwich Shop saga than the Aubrayo Franklin's holdout saga.