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Chargers sign DT Franklin

The SportsXchange

Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin signed a one-year deal with the Chargers, who continue to tinker with their defensive line after releasing Luis Castillo on Thursday.

A 10-year veteran who has excelled as a run-blocker primarily in 3-4 schemes, Franklin spent last season with the Saints and started nine games. Franklin was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore in 2003 and spent four seasons with the Ravens before signing with the 49ers.

Franklin was one of the few remaining unsigned big names on the market, which didn't produce many large contracts for interior defenders this offseason. A deep group of interior defensive linemen in the draft also helped fill the needs of many teams.

"(The market) just hasn't been there at all," Franklin told The Sports Xchange's Len Pasquarelli back in April. "The reason? I don't know, honestly. ... But it's definitely slow."

It took him another three months to find work with San Diego.

He started 60 games in San Francisco 2007-2010, mostly as a 3-4 nose tackle, yet was forced to take just a one-year deal from the Saints in 2011.

With the Chargers, he returns to a 3-4 team as a nose tackle. San Diego now has six defensive tackles on the roster, including starter Antonio Garay, 2010 draft pick Cam Thomas and a relatively inexperienced group in Garrett Brown, Eddie Brown and Charlie Bryant.

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