Saturday, December 2, 2017
DUNK: FRANKLIN DRAWING NFL INTEREST
Some 200 players are set to hit free agency in the CFL in February and that includes back-up quarterback James Franklin of the Edmonton Eskimos. The Missouri product dressed for all 18 games for Edmonton in 2017 however he only attempted 19 passes for 142 yards behind CFL Most Outstanding Player Mike Reilly.
However in his time, the 6'2", 230 lb pivot amassed a whopping efficiency rating of 125.3.
On his weekly appearance on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Friday, CFL Insider Justin Dunk of 3DownNation.com said Franklin may top the list of available players this off-season.
"He's certaily the most talked-about free agent," Dunk asserted. "And he's probably one of - if not the most - highly-rated free agent on the list. There's a number of playmakers on all sides of the ball that are going to be available. Almost Calgary's entire secondary is due to become free along with pass rushers like Alex Bazzie and Jamar Westerman and DBs like T.J. Heath and Chris Randle. Look in Ottawa, Trevor Harris and Diontae are two young emerging stars who don't have new deals in place. There are a lot of players with star power who, if they change teams, have the ability to turn some franchises around."
It was reported on TSN's Grey Cup pregame show that Franklin has his eyes set on an NFL opportunity and Dunk feels that idea isn't farfetched.
"I think if you're a player, you have to be confident enough to believe you can make it down there," Dunk offered. "The toughest part for James Franklin is that there isn't a ton of film on him, particularly in 2017. I'm told there are NFL teams interested in working him out. There needs to be some details worked out around those workouts but there are at least a couple of NFL teams interested in taking a look at Franklin. It is legimate."
If there's a CFL team eyeing Franklin as a franchise saviour, his NFL aspirations could throw a wrench into their plans. If he advances through an NFL preseason before being released, he wouldn't become available until Labour Day weekend.
"Certainly," Dunk agreed. "Even if the NFL interest lingers into February or March, that could hold things up. If he goes down south and stays there until September, some teams are going to have to move onto Plan B."
Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones brought Franklin into the CFL while with the Eskimos in 2015.