2008 Free Agents: Defensive Tackles

With Bryant Young retiring after 14 distinguished seasons with the 49ers, San Francisco needs to add reinforcements along its defensive line, and the Niners will be looking toward free agency with that in mind. Here, we take a look at what the 49ers currently have at the position and list the options that could become available on the free-agent market, both unrestricted and restricted.

The 49ers currently have Aubrayo Franklin as their starting nose tackle with Isaac Sopoaga in reserve. The two veterans handled the position capably last year, with Franklin starting 12 games and Sopoaga 3. The pair combined for 119 tackles while occasionally seeing time together in the defensive line rotation.

The 49ers also have a capable defensive end - Marques Douglas, who had a career year in 2007 - who can easily slide over and play tackle in a 4-3 set, though he's not suited for nose tackle. Ronnie Fields is a developing swing player who can play both nose and end in the 3-4, and the 49ers also like what they've seen in practice from newcomer Atiyyah Ellison, who was inactive in every game this season but is a young player with good size and potential.

The problem for the 49ers is that both Sopoaga and Douglas are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents if they don't sign a contract with San Francisco by February 29th.

The 49ers need to bring Sopoaga back, and probably need to do the same with Douglas, though he might want to hit the open market to establish his worth.

To be sure, as the 49ers consider their options at tackle in 2008, the team is sure to take a look at what is out there in free agency, particularly if the team allows Sopoaga to hit the open market.

Here are the defensive tackles scheduled to hit the market if they aren't re-signed by their own team before the start of free agency on February 29, listed with their team and years of experience in the league:


Rodney Bailey, Arizona Cardinals (7)
Tim Anderson, Atlanta Falcons (4)
Damione Lewis, Carolina Panthers (7)
Kindal Moorehead, Carolina Panthers (5)
Antonio Garay, Chicago Bears (4)
Corey Williams, Green Bay Packers (4)
Cedric Killings, Houston Texans (4)
Dan Klecko, Indianapolis Colts (4)
Spencer Johnson, Minnesota Vikings (4)
Rashad Moore, New England Patriots (4)
Brian Young, New Orleans Saints (8)
Russell Davis, New York Giants (9)
Ian Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (5)
Kim Von Oelhoffen, Philadelphia Eagles (14)
Chuck Darby, Seattle Seahawks (7)
Ellis Wyms, Seattle Seahawks (7)
Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee Titans (6)
Corey Simon, Tennessee Titans (7)*
Randy Starks, Tennessee Titans (4)
Ryan Boschetti, Washington Redskins (4)

Amon Gordon, Baltimore Ravens (3)
Jason Jefferson, Buffalo Bills (3)
Colin Coles, Green Bay Packers (3)
Anthony Maddox, Houston Texans (3)
Darrell Reid, Indianapolis Colts (3)
Josh Shaw, Oakland Raiders (3)
Jovan Haye, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3)


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