Toronto Argonauts: Signing Franklin provides team with insurance at QB

Toronto Argonauts win the 105th Grey Cup (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)
Toronto Argonauts win the 105th Grey Cup (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images) /

After acquiring the rights to James Franklin from the Edmonton Eskimos, the Toronto Argonauts finally put pen to paper signing the young quarterback to a two-year deal.

With some doubt towards Ricky Ray’s status for the 2018 season, the Toronto Argonauts got some much needed insurance signing quarterback James Franklin to a contract.

It was first reported by Justin Dunk that the contract was for two-years. The 26-year-old has been itching for a starting job in the CFL but has been stuck behind Mike Reilly in Edmonton.

While there is still a chance that Ray can return as the starter for next season, Franklin will push Ray for the starting job and has the talent to do so. Even if he was not able to start, the Argos can rest easy knowing that they have a capable backup option if Ray were to get hurt, something they have not had the past couple of seasons.

The team also knows that they have a player that has impressed with the limited chances to start the past couple of seasons.

More from Tip of the Tower

Franklin completed 116-of-176 passes for 1,449 yards and 12 touchdowns and only threw one interception while adding 18 rushes for 145 yards and a touchdown.

The various skill sets that the young quarterback possesses as a duo threat will keep the Argos competitive in the East division with Trevor Harris getting a contract extension with the Ottawa Redblacks and Jeremiah Masoli staying with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It also keeps the Montreal Alouettes from getting one of the top free agent quarterbacks in February.

It appears that a start against the Argos in 2016 got the Oklahoma native on their radar after going 18-of-23 for 334 yards and four touchdowns.

During his time at Missouri, he was the backup for Blake Bortles before earning the starting job in 2011 where he had 2865 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions along with 981 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns in his sophomore season.

Franklin has earned a lot of hype with his play in Edmonton and some of that was echoed by Argos’ management when the trade was made.

"“I know that game left a lasting impression on people that had been with the Argos, [current assistant general manager] Spencer [Zimmerman] and [offensive coordinator] Marcus Brady. But he’s had other games like that I’ve been a part of where he’s done well. You know he’s got the potential to do that every week,” general manager Jim Popp said upon trading for Franklin.“Everybody has flashes, but you have to look at his whole body of work. This is an outstanding college football player that has spent three years in the CFL and he was in a very good organization with coaching to match, he’s an outstanding young man and he’s got a lot of key elements that you look for.”"

Next: Argos purchased by MLSE

Argos fans should be looking forward to what the future holds for the team after pulling off a stunner in the 2017 Grey Cup and getting purchased by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.