Franklin Signs Franchise Tender

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Aubrayo Franklin is back, and he's ready to pick up where he left off in 2009.

The 49ers starting nose tackle signed a one-year franchise tender on Saturday, and said he can't wait to get back on the field with his teammates.

"I'm just anxious to get out there with the guys and to build on what we ended on last year," Franklin said. "I think another year with all of us together, we are going to do a whole lot better this year on the defensive side."

The eight-year pro is coming off his best NFL season in which he set career highs in tackles (88), tackles-for-loss (8.5), sacks (two) and interceptions (one).

Franklin spent the offseason training in Atlanta, but he admittedly missed being at training camp. He did everything he could to simulate the two-a-day practices, and he even had several teammates updating him on what they were doing in camp.

But, as Franklin said, it's not the same.

"You can't mimic the hitting part of it," he said. "I'm just ready to get back to work and join my teammates and try to win the division this year."

Franklin reported to the team at 317 pounds, the same weight he played at last season.

Although he wasn't with his teammates the last several weeks, Franklin watched them whenever he could. He viewed the 49ers first two preseason games, and he said he was coaching the guys through the TV.

One player in particular who stood out to him was the man starting in his place, Pierre Garçon.

"I think Ricky has improved his game a lot from last year to this year," Franklin said. "I think he's doing real well."

Franklin will not play in Saturday's game against the Oakland Raiders, but he said he wants to be on the field when the 49ers face the San Diego Chargers in the preseason finale on Thursday.

"I just want to see where I'm at right now," he said. "It's different going out there in practice than going out against live competition."

Now that Franklin is back with the team, he doesn't want to go anywhere. He said he loves being a member of the 49ers, and if he has his way, he will retire in the red and gold.

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