Roughriders Still a Good Bet for Franklin

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Although a re-union of Chris Jones and James Franklin in Saskatchewan is not yet imminent, the stars appear to be aligning in favor of such a scenario.

Re-signing Bridge a Smokescreen?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders re-signing of Brandon Bridge to a one-year contract extension looks like an insurance policy for a team which might not have any better options come training camp, and a quarterback’s agent not wanting to sign any long-term deals for fear of missing out on what could be a free agent bonanza for his prized Canadian quarterback who might carry a whole lot of value in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement going into 2019.

So what does that have to do with James Franklin? Plenty.

It means the Roughriders, as in this past season, still have no clear direction at quarterback. It’s becoming the make-or-break point of Head Coach/General Manager/Defensive Co-ordinator/Football Operations VP Chris Jones’ tenure in Regina. Jones has stacked this organization at just about every position but quarterback.

November’s inconsistent playoff performance from both pivots Kevin Glenn and Brandon Bridge has made it crystal clear that a solution under centre is in fact the missing piece to this team’s championship puzzle.

Franklin Available

Technically, James Franklin is under contract to the Toronto Argonauts and wants to try the National Football League but don’t expect any of that to scare the Roughriders away. The highly-touted young quarterback, who Jones has worked with before, wants money and a chance to start. These are all things his old boss can offer in Saskatchewan better than anyone else can in either the CFL or NFL.

The Argos meanwhile have less than 60 days to figure out if Ricky Ray is coming back for 2018 before they can decide whether or not to even offer Franklin a big money contract to stay in Toronto. Talk about putting your star quarterback under the gun to make up his mind! Some reward for Ricky saving football in the big smoke.

But in the unlikely event ‘Frito’ Ray chooses to tell the Argos he is retiring between now and February, the boatmen still have no leverage to arm-twist Franklin to avoid free agency. No risk of injury and absolutely zero upside for the young QB to not test the free agent market.

Edmonton Management Goofed

It’s been no secret for the better part of a year now that the Eskimos would dearly love to cash in Franklin’s value of a potential franchise savior and the best they could come up with is to exchange a 3rd round draft pick for a Canadian lineman? It’s appearing more and more like Esks GM Brock Sutherland really blew it this time.

Surely the Roughriders would have paid a far bigger bounty than that! The Eskimo front office’s refusal to make a trade with the Roughriders is symbolic of just how fearful Edmonton management is of dealing with and respects Chris Jones while he’s running a hated division rival. But in the end, Franklin will probably end up with Saskatchewan anyways and the Eskimos got pretty well nothing in return.

Franklin and Roughriders a Perfect Fit

It’s a match made in heaven for both sides. Again, nothing is cast in stone yet. But if you’re betting on where James Franklin will sit when this game of quarterback musical chairs ends, bet on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It just makes too much sense not to.

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