Was Franklin Worth The Contract?


Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive guard Orlando Franklin (74) is carted off the field with an injury during the second half of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Oakland won 37-29. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

When Orlando Franklin got here, I questioned the move. I would have thought that the Chargers would have immediately come to the realization that Watt should be playing his natural position at left guard for the short (or long term) when they let Rinehart go. I thought that the Chargers would realize that trying to make him a center was wishful thinking, at best, after he got dominated & immediately hurt, especially after going through so many centers in one year.

I know that becoming a center requires intelligence, which Watt apparently has. However, it also requires physicality, training, and experience. Watt has been said to have a mean streak, which this line needs. But, from what we have seen on tape, the physicality is in question. For whatever reason, he can’t handle the pressure being applied to the middle of this line, and Philip is calling the plays. Robinson has been able to stay pretty healthy, and has the positional experience, but isn’t the answer. He is an awesome back-up though! Players are chosen in all rounds, and Telesco has been able to find those diamonds in the rough. But, Robinson is a backup.

So, what do you do? You just signed Franklin to a rather sizeable contract. He isn’t playing well so far. You have pretty much relegated Chris Watt to the center position, or fill-in duties. So, do you just keep propping him up out there? Hoping he will suddenly become the future of the Chargers at center? He might actually get lots of rest, get healthy, hit the books a little harder, beef up, and be awesome next season & beyond. It’s not looking that way though.

To make things worse, it looks like the Chargers outsmarted themselves, and put the wrong player in the wrong spot. Watt has to be reaching deep inside himself like many other players on this roster are, and wondering what his future holds. The Chargers may have made a big mistake not drafting a top level career center, thought they could just cut-and-paste Watt in there because he was smart (despite never playing the position once), and killed his confidence. Hardwick went down, and the Chargers were unprepared despite obvious signs (Hardwick’s injury history, and hints of retirement), and chose to stick with their decision, which has been a total failure. When you hear the commentators say things like “Philip Rivers deserves a lot of credit, because he is the best QB in the league at throwing from a phone booth”, you should immediately look back to the oversight of not drafting a new center. You can point to injuries, the other interior & line positions. So on, & so forth. That decision, and other ridiculous decisions, has me not only questioning this organization, but Telesco himself. I hope his contract extension means that little boots John Spanos steps back from the scouting process, as he looks to be taking on more front office “responsibilities”. I bet there have been some screaming matches in Deano’s office. I would have taken it there, but maybe TT is just collecting a paycheck with his “first team” too? Who knows, but it looks like he is incompetent right now. I wish John Taffer, or Gordon Ramsey could go yell at his ass. I am over this “we’re always looking to make this team better, and we do it by committee” BS.Our GM needs to grow a pair, puts his glasses on, and perhaps he and his coaches can look back at some Charger history & current events before making his next “big splash trade away”.

Franklin came here from Denver, and from the pre-season interviews it looks like a very intelligent man. Perhaps too intelligent, if he is going to sit on his contract. He is well spoken, stylish, and seems to have a tough disposition about him, which I welcome. I really thought he might be the guy to come in here & solidify the line. Dunlap is a great left tackle, despite the injury & concussion struggles, and I thought that side was on lock-down. At least while they were going to be on the field. Even when Dunlap was playing, Franklin was struggling.

Then Franklin went out on a cart, with what seemed to be a really bad injury, but then came back pretty quickly. I’m not saying he was faking, but if the cart comes out onto the field, I expect really bad news. It seems like the cart is being used a little liberally on the field. If you sprain your ankle, or your leg gets rolled up on…. Whistle some players & trainers over to come grab you & wave off the cart. I don’t mean to be cold about it, but when the cart comes out, players take a knee, and we all lose a breath. We all care, and appreciate the player’s effort. Some of us have played sports, and can appreciate that. We also understand that there are processes in place for injuries, harsh critics when you don’t follow them when there is a real problem. The cart has to stop, no matter what the reason. Malcom needed a cart, Inman needed a cart, ACL’s need a cart, Jahleel definitely needed a sideline cart.… Dielman… Ingram… cart. Field cart means out for the season, as far as I am concerned. Sideline cart. Maybe not as much? Keenan can walk in & walk out, and he had a lacerated kidney!

The Chargers seems like a place where players think they can enjoy the nice weather, get a big second contract after a year of playing well (or not at all), collect the money, and look at your bank statement with a smile. I’ll just say it. It’s a place where players come to “earn I” for a year, and then sit on it, while guys like Weddle walk out the door (and I’m really not that happy about his offseason moves this year. By all means, get yours. But, we already knew you deserved it, and what a distraction your “negotiations” were. Not helping this team down to the wire, and your 50/50 play this season keeps your jersey hanging in the closet. Jared Gaither, Derek Cox, Robert Meachem, Donald Butler, & Donald Brown are the poster children for this paragraph.

So,a good friend was saying that there are a lot of free agent safeties this year… and maybe a center. Signing a free agent safety seems redundant to me. After the way this team treated Weddle, do you think you are going to get another safety that’ll play hard for this team? Drafting a high round safety might be the best option (I have been saying this fa decade though, since Harrison left). Jahleel Addae is not the answer, either. So now we have nothing. Ha Ha Clinton Di,x & Kenny Vaccaro (Who Ernie & I wanted drafted over Fluker) are playing as good as Kam Chancellor is right now, and are on pace.  The Chargers are failing BIG TIME in the free agency market. Players know SD doesn’t have a ring, any coaches to speak of, and are at the bottom of a division that seems to get more physically punishing every day. We have just gone to being completely uncompetitive, and might even be moving to a city where players can demand even MORE money!

Not that the draft choices are working out that much better, but at least they are young, and have no choice of where they go (unless you are a Manning, of course). “Build through the draft” couldn’t apply more for this team than any other team, unless you are talking about Danny Woodhead. Was he a “Marquee Signing” though? Probably not, but he is, and continues to be a great signing. After watching Flowers pronounce he should be listed as one of the best CB’s in the league, he should eat those words. Cox & Meachem got discharged quickly for a huge cap hit, Gaither robbed the team blind, and Donald Brown is still sitting on a ridiculous contract

I just say we save our money, and sign only lower level guys like Dunlap, Barksdale, & Hairston, who might pan out. Until the organization gets its feet under it, If it ever does, why bring in players who are looking to “phone it in” for a year, get a big contract?, and then quit? Qhile they are at it, stop trading away draft picks for questionable players, and trading away player that might have actually been able to help you to teams that beat you (Sirles), for worse picks than you gave away? You think that makes up for it? Nobody’s clapping.

Vote below, if you feel inclined. And,

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence My Lightning Flowers!

Do Free Agent Players See The Chargers As A Team Where They Can Give Minimal Effort, and Sit On A Contract?

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