I'll admit it. I got caught up in the hype. Every year, there's a free agent that a lot of fans seem to get attached to and start demanding that their team sign him.
This year, that's free agent NT Aubrayo Franklin. It's clear plenty of Kansas City Chiefs fans want this to happen but I'm the bearer of bad news -- Franklin's not signing in KC.
Forget the report that the Chiefs have agreed to terms with former Baltimore Ravens NT Kelly Gregg. Even without that, Franklin's not the guy for KC. This according to people who know league personnel better than I.
Franklin's obviously the biggest name on the open market at nose tackle and reportedly could be looking for a deal in the $7-8 million per year range. If the Chiefs are going to spend that much money on a nose tackle, he better fit the system.
The problem? He doesn't. At least as far as the Chiefs know because he hasn't played in their specific system. That's a lot of money to a guy that doesn't have the experience the Chiefs are really looking for and it would be unlike them to fit a square peg into a round hole, so to speak. it's even more than that, though. He hasn't even played in 60 percent of the snaps in a season since he's been in San Francisco. He has four career sacks.
He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and released at the conclusion of his rookie deal. He comes to San Francisco making around the league minimum for a few years and then the 49ers franchised him last year to the tune of $7 million per year so that has made fans, like myself, think that's the market for him. And $7 million per year tells us this guy should be an elite nose tackle.
But maybe it's not the market for him. Maybe the perception of his market is inflated because of that franchise tag last year. Maybe the reason we haven't heard a ton of rumors floating around about him is because there isn't the market for him we thought there would be.
Sometimes I get caught up in the hype just like everyone else but we gotta think about things GM Scott Pioli has said before. He's into "substance over sizzle" and, at 30 years old and without multiple years playing at a high level, Franklin smells a little more of sizzle rather than substance.
I'm not bashing Franklin here. He's a good player and he'll fit in well someplace because there aren't guys like him all over the league. There's no doubt about that.
It's just not going to be Kansas City -- with or without Kelly Gregg.