Franklin, a 10-year NFL veteran from the University of Tennessee, joins the Chargers after spending the 2011 season with the New Orleans Saints, where he started nine games and recorded 17 tackles. The 6-1, 317-pound nose tackle has 204 career tackles and has not missed a game since the 2007 season.
Prior to his time in New Orleans, Franklin spent four years with the San Francisco 49ers, where he started 60 of 64 games in 2008 and recorded a career-best 46 tackles. Franklin joined the 49ers after spending his first four years in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. Franklin was a fifth-round selection (146th overall) by the Ravens in the 2003 NFL Draft.