QB James Franklin says Riders weren’t on his radar

New Argonauts quarterback James Franklin says that joining the Saskatchewan Roughriders was never in the cards.

Franklin, who signed a contract extension with the Argos this week after being traded from the Edmonton Eskimos in December, was set to become a free agent in February. That led to speculation he would look to reunite with former coach Chris Jones, now in charge of the Riders.

Not so, says Franklin.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that [going to the Riders]. I know that everyone tries to get the inside scoop, but I was happy with Toronto and once I got traded to Toronto – my rights – I kept thinking about Toronto and trying to work something out with them,” Franklin explained.

“Everyone kept telling me that I could get more money, but it’s not about the money. It’s about going somewhere with an opportunity, a good place and being a good family environment.”

The University of Missouri product spent the 2015 season as Edmonton’s primary backup to Mike Reilly while the Eskimos won the Grey Cup with Jones, now in charge of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, as the head coach.

The Riders traded for a different quarterback in Zach Collaros and Franklin inked a two-year pact in Toronto.


67 Comments on QB James Franklin says Riders weren’t on his radar

  1. @ odd to be green: boo hoo, we missed our on an unproven QB. Everyone is so sad and you’re so happy. This must be the pinnacle
    of your week. Congrats.

  2. Telling it like it is // January 5, 2018 at 3:32 pm //

    In other words I want a guaranteed starting spot. I’m not going somewhere to compete. Once Ricky Ray retires I’m guranteed the #1 spot because they don’t have anyone else. In SK I would have had to beat out Brandon Bridge and there is no guarantee that would happen.

  3. Lol, what’s he supposed to say? He’s just signed with the Argos, so is he going to say, “Actually the Riders were my #1 choice”? Read between the lines. He was happy with Toronto ONCE HE GOT TRADED TO TORONTO, not before. “I wasn’t really thinking about that [going to the Riders].” This isn’t a straight denial. Iow, he wasn’t REALLY thinking about that means he kind of was. He’s being diplomatic and saying what he should be saying, but reading between the lines he was thinking about the Riders and reuniting with Chris Jones. And you can’t blame him. Until we traded for Collaros the Riders would have been the best opportunity for him to start this year, save Montreal which has a whole host of other issues.

    • Giant leap from what Franklin said to him actually wanting to reunite with Jones in Saskatchewan but whatever floats your boat I guess.

  4. robservation // January 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm //

    As a Rider fan, congrats to Franklin on his contract with the Argos. I hope he enjoys success there.
    Franklin is also entitled to his opinion, whether he’s right or wrong. Every organization has it’s pros and cons, some players like certain places over others. Didn’t see him saying anything negative, but he’s happy to be in the best situation for him, I can respect that.

  5. Why is this a story? I am sure if he was asked about any other team in the league his response would have been similar. All this story does is fuel the Rider haters and a few extra clicks on 3D.

    • Odd to be green // January 5, 2018 at 4:12 pm //

      It’s a story because riderfans have been telling us for a year that Franklin would be a rider in 2018, that’s here and on other publications and can’t be denied.
      It was a “no brainer” we were told, Franklin wanted to be reunited with Jones and the chance to play for the best team with the best fans and best stadium was all just too appealing for him to consider anything else.
      “Edmonton might as well trade him to us now or we’ll just take him in FA next Feb and Edmonton will get nothing” was the speak of 2017

      I can’t tell if this was a threat or a favor to Edmonton! lol

      Ridernation looks rather silly today and it looks good on y’all.

      • Wrong, you have been saying Rider fans have been saying it, we haven’t been saying squat. You put the words in our mouths. Commenting to you is a waste of time as you just don’t get it. Time for you to break out your Barbies and roll play that you have a life.

      • LOL silly Ridernation, stuck with Zach Collaros, Brandon Bridge, Vernon Adams, and Marquise Williams! Their QB prospects are OBVIOUSLY in complete shambles now that James Franklin has signed elsewhere! And BOY do they deserve such terrible prospects considering that they like to play out potential scenarios in fan forums!


        • Magestic McMahon // January 5, 2018 at 9:03 pm //

          Collaros has been falling and is oft injured. Can he be good again? Maybe.
          As riderfans are selective on who the critique in Grey Cup games, allow me to do the same. In 2014 Zack Collaros had time at the end to win it and couldn’t. This proves he can’t win when it counts (sound familiar?)
          Past him you have 3 prospects who have done nothing. These 3 are no different than QB’ 2,3,4 on any team!
          Riders have along way to go

          • Green Pastures // January 5, 2018 at 9:12 pm //

            2 different user names in the same thread? Hilarious. Good for you.

          • True green // January 5, 2018 at 10:16 pm //

            Sound like your opinion of our new QB puts us ahead of the Stamps for QB. We both have a QB that can’t win when it counts (your words not mine) and we have a strong backup with starter potential in Bridge plus Adams and Williams as developing prospects. Whereas Calgary has what behind Bo Levi?

            But for the record, that’s not my actual opinion in either Bo or Zach. Those are your continually judgmental words.

        • brian johnson // January 11, 2018 at 9:44 pm //

          Now that is well said. Glenn resigns?
          Now with a salary cap and SASK never goes over” gag” How do they pay all these QB”s and players plus Carter!!!!!!!!
          Creative accounting plus

      • True green // January 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm //

        SOME Rider fans, and not Rider management. Lots of assumptions made by a) Rider fans that want to believe whatever they want to believe and b) other fans that don’t like the Riders who want to focus on whatever they can that’s negative. Riders don’t look silly at all, but those of you who choose to spend so much time with an opinion on the topic of Riders and Franklin sure do regardless of who you cheer for.

  6. Tenseventeen // January 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm //

    The revisionism and rose-coloured glasses of Rider fans is hilarious:
    “Yeah we really didn’t want him”
    “Yeah we really didn’t want him because he wants to be a #1 QB”
    “Yeah we really didn’t want him because we already have the obnoxious tweeter and Hamilton’s #3 QB”
    “Yeah but he really wanted to be here anyways despite what he actually says”
    “This is all an anti-Rider conspiracy”

  7. According to Dave Naylor Franklin wasn’t on the Riders radar. Of the 4 teams inquiring, Saskatchewan was not one. Some situations are better and currently the Riders have 2 solid guys and Toronto needed another. Works out for everyone.

  8. What do the Als do for a QB this year ??

  9. ODD; Rider fan here, you’re right. For a year and a half the belligerent portion of Rider Nation has been preaching Franklin. Now they’re spewing hatred towards him. They’re embarrassing.

    • Tom I don’t see any hate toward Franklin. If you wanna please someone go buy me a pizza. I’m hungry.

  10. Good for James Franklin. He’s found a home in Toronto, and I wish him well. I was one of the many that thought Franklin would be on the Riders’ radar as did many sports personalities. It is a bit surprising the interest that Coach Jones and the Roughriders showed to Zach Collaros. With that being said, what Collaros did in Hamilton previous to the past few seasons was simply outstanding. Whether Collaros still has that magic throw remains to be seen, but I do like what I saw of Brandon Bridge last season. I guess a few questions remain as to where Kevin Glenn will sign (which should be soon) and also the quarterback situation in Montreal. And with that being said, free agency will soon be upon the CFL with a few more interesting stories, I’m sure.

  11. Rider fan here, too. Only a few uninformed fellow rider fans were talking about Franklin. No Jones, No Rider management. Pure speculation. No hate for Franklin in Saskatchewan. We have our quarterbacks and will go with them. End of story!

  12. justforkicks // January 5, 2018 at 5:09 pm //

    When it comes to speculation and comments this might be a good place to participate. On the other hand if you or I truly believe anything we say or read here is a true representation of the body of fans for any one team we are delusional. There is a handful of repeat commentators on almost every topic with another group that jumps in on occasion and a few newbies. Hardly a majority voice in any case.

  13. Gotta Love Rider Nation, a year ago they were adamant that Franklin would sign in Riderville as soon as he was a free agent. Now Franklin says would never have happened and Riderville all say good he’s unproven.

    I said it a year ago Franklin was not going to a western team. He would be dealt east. Now I am saying Collaros is broken and Franklin is the better QB right now. I will also say depending on the 10th overall pick Hamilton might win that trade, whereas the Eskimos probably lost the Franklin trade for Mason Woods.

    I like Woods potential to be a starter, but he is a bit of a project even as the #10 pick overall, but to anyone who is a student of football James Franklin has a real shot to be a CFL star and even MOP. The only way the Esks get the trade to be a push is if Woods is the starting RT from 2019 to 2027.

    • Where do you base your claim that Zach is broken? He’s 29 years old and he was just handed a fresh start with an upgraded O-Line and receiving core in a pass-happy offense. He has three seasons’ worth of starts behind him, he has a reputation as a hardworking, consummate professional, and he’s hungry for his first Grey Cup. Where’s his downside?

      • 2014 Concussion
        2015 ACL Tear
        2016 Concussion
        2017 Has passing mechanic issues leading to an 8 TD to 7 INT ratio and getting benched. Yeah he is B R O K E N and seemed very tentative in 2017.

        What is this nonsense about an upgraded o-line? The Riders gave up 44 sacks, 3rd worst in the CFL only behind B.C. and Montreal.

        • By your logic, Ricky Ray is B R O K E N and should never have started a game in 2017 considering his injury history and age (9 years older than ZC).

          The high number of sacks given up by the Riders this year was because of KG’s inability to escape pressure. Check out Derek Taylor’s Twitter feed from a few days ago, he’s got some good stats comparing the Riders O-line to the Ticats in 2017. It is without question an upgrade for Zach.

    • justforkicks // January 5, 2018 at 7:19 pm //

      As per above

  14. As a long standing supporter of Rider Nation I completely disagree with this mans decision. He had the opportunity to learn from Chris Jones, a true football genius, play in a magnificent new stadium in front of the greatest fan base in North America.

  15. Anonymous // January 5, 2018 at 7:18 pm //

    Actually most cfl observers thought Jones would reunite with the qb he brought to Canada.
    However,they are in a much better spot with Bridge,Collaros,adams,and Williams.
    The future looks much brighter in Ridervillle,and the few idiot haters can only watch And talk about the Riders instead of their own teams.

  16. Greg, have u watched any of the postgame interviews that Collaros gave in 2017? Collaros was suppose to be a franchise quarterback and a big time leader. As a leader , he should be displaying qualities of strength but watch those interviews and you will see qualities of weakness. I have watched him closely for years. He lacks confidence, his passes are no where near as accurate as they used to be, he panics and makes very poor decisions when he does this. He is totally gun shy right now and as such is the most overrated quarterback in the cfl at this point in time. To many of us, it seeems that he is playing scared of encountering the next big hit as he knows that the next big hit could be a career ended. Chris Jones has really gambled here. A quarterback guru like June Jones would not have disposed of him unless there is a “lack of comfidence” in Collaros regaining his form. Collaros also seems to have lost some of his drive and intensity. Having said all this, I will be very happy and excited to see him regain his form given the new surroundings but I think that that Collaros will have a significant uphill battle as he is playing scared and does not seem able to shake this label. I atteneed a lot of games where I thought I would witness an elite quarterback but instead saw him coming to the sidelines arguing with his coach as he walked off the field. Collaros wore out his welcome in Hamilton.

    • I haven’t pored through his old interviews, but the fact that Collaros looks uncomfortable with losing and shows frustration doesn’t bother me. I don’t know of any QB (apart from maybe Ricky Ray) that shows no signs of weakness or frustration when things aren’t going well. Mike Reilly occasionally throws his helmet on the sidelines when he’s frustrated with his teammates or the play calling – does that make him unprofessional? No. Bo Levi’s performance drops off significantly when he’s pressured, but nobody believes he’s a weak link on that team.

      Given his drop-off over the last couple years I agree with you that it would be premature to proclaim him the hands-down starter.

      But I think it’s equally premature to decide he’s washed up.

      As a footnote, I disagree that June Jones “disposed” of Collaros because of lack of confidence. A few weeks ago Jones stated in an interview with The Waggle that he decided to make the change to Masoli for the sake of change, to breath some new life into the team. I believe he was telling the truth. I also think Zach’s contract had a lot to do with why he was traded (which will almost certainly be renegotiated). Add to that the fact that Collaros was almost certainly looking for a change of scenery and was very unlikely to renegotiate his salary to stay in Hamilton.

      • Magestic McMahon // January 5, 2018 at 8:59 pm //

        You seem to have a chip on your shoulder.

      • I don’t buy Jones comments about the switch to Masoli being a change up. Or maybe more accurately – it was a small factor.

        The big plus I see to going with Masoli is that in addition to passing and a real running game – Masoli’s better running skills adds a third threat for opposing defenses deal with.

        Collaros can run at key times but Masoli is so much better and tougher to bring down.

    • Question is … how much of Collaros’ issues are from a phantom run offense that over three years plus never adjusted for the skills on the field?

      If Collaros has lost his drive … why would be be complaining/yelling at his former HC?

  17. 10 bucks says Duron Carter beats the crap out of Zach Colloras before mid season.

    • Cal Gary's Secret BF // January 5, 2018 at 9:55 pm //

      Deal. I’ll take a free 10 bucks

    • Magestic McMahon // January 5, 2018 at 10:03 pm //

      lol that would not surprise anyone

    • Duron Carter is the CFL version of Terrell Owens … I would expect him to fake cry over Zach Collaros sucking and say to all of Rider nation, “That’s my quarterback … it’s not fair … “

  18. Never heard Franklin or Jones speak of him going Saskatchewan to play football – it was never spoke of on sport shows radio or tv from Rider management

    This was a fake news story created by TSN and that’s FACT .

    • Magestic McMahon // January 5, 2018 at 10:06 pm //

      Stage it wasn’t TSN or the riders necessarily saying Franklin was heading to the Mosaic mess.

      It was riderfans !!!!! Threads everywhere about it!
      Also Rod Pedersen

    • There wouldn’t have been talk from them because that would have been tampering. It was fan speculation but I’m sure it was basically accurate. I’m sure the interest was mutual and the fit was a good one, or at least it was a year ago. But as Bridge started to emerge this year he grew into the role that would have been Franklin’s, the young emerging QB. Jones is Mr. Depth, however, so we all knew that he would want two potential starting QBs, but a better fit with Bridge would have been a seasoned veteran, like Glenn but better. There wasn’t much speculation about Collaros, although there was a bit, because the Hamilton situation was very uncertain, and he had a huge contract. But Jones knew Collaros from their time in Toronto, something I’d forgotten about, and he is that veteran top tier QB that we’ve been looking for, and he is a better match with Bridge. That’s why Rider Nation is so happy about the trade and you don’t hear anyone pining for Franklin. I hope Franklin doesn’t feel too jilted because he’s still in a pretty good spot. With Trestman and Popp that organization is almost as good as the Riders’, and their QB is close to retirement. The bad news for Franklin is that it looks like once again he’s going to have to wait a year or two to become a starter.

      • Popp and Trestman would be well advised to get Franklin immediate grief counselling to get over the fact he was forced to sign with the defending Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts.

  19. True green // January 5, 2018 at 10:03 pm //

    Taking Franklins comments at face value, I respect his decision. As a Rider fan, I don’t expect every player to want to play for Saskatchewan, that just wouldn’t make sense. Perks: best fan base and best stadium and your very well know in the province. Downside: let’s face it you have to live in Regina for half the year or more… and as much as I love SK a lot of these players are from much nicer climates and/or bigger cities which can offer a different lifestyle many players will enjoy.

    Good luck to Franklin, I hope his decision is a smart one for him. And if it’s not about the money first for him, then his character could be a huge asset to any team.

    (First time I’ve posted without reading every comment first as I suspect there’s a bunch of “hahaha riders you suck and Franklin didn’t want you” comments from Donkey and his multiple personalities)

  20. Magestic McMahon // January 5, 2018 at 10:24 pm //

    Oh well
    Its done now.
    Franklin looks great in double blue and seems happy and relieved!
    Hopefully rider fans learned from all this. I know there is anger right now but if you see clear to the lesson you will benefit 🙂

    • Green Pastures // January 5, 2018 at 11:35 pm //

      Honestly. How do you come up with this stuff? You are making me laugh tonight

    • Oh his Donk, are you as excited for another choke by your Stamps next year as everyone else? Maybe your team will learn from it but probably not. Me first team. DD needs to go, he’s not a leader of men.

  21. Ridersnhabs // January 6, 2018 at 1:04 am //

    First off franklin had no control over who he got traded to so his comment about the riders weren’t on his radar has no merit at all . Second who cares , ya he could be a good QB but let’s see how he does once he starts and coaches get game film on him . Riders could have traded for him same as they did zach , I’m very happy with who we got.

  22. Time will tell // January 6, 2018 at 10:08 am //

    Franklin is better in Toronto coach wise than in Saskatchewan. Coach Trestman has three Grey Cup rings as a head coach as opposed to Jones’ one as a head coach. Trestman started his coaching career as a QB coach and worked his way up. Trestman is an offence minded coach where Jones is supposedly a defensive guru. Toronto has Marcus Brady and Tommy Condel as offensive coaches. The Riders have McAdoo. Enough said. Franklin has a far better chance of becoming a bona fide starting quarterback in Toronto with those coaches than he would have under Jones.

  23. Magestic McMahon // January 6, 2018 at 10:57 am //

    He is way better off in Toronto. Trestman is an offensive guy, Jones is a defensive guy.
    This narrative of Jones “knowing” Collaros from their mutual time in Toronto is over stated too.
    Jones was DC, Collaros was a 2nd to 3rd string QB. They probably never spoke a word.

  24. Green Pastures // January 6, 2018 at 10:24 pm //

    Ok. I’ll play your game. So you are saying he doesn’t talk to Buckley then. Nice “family”

  25. Provemewrong // January 6, 2018 at 11:46 pm //

    Funny, how gangrene fans are always chucking sh!t at others for posting on non-slider articles… Sooo many slider posts here …hahahahaha. Gangrene just so full of themselves. 4 GC wins in what, 105 years!!! Makes the stumps look like winners!!!

    • Ridersnhabs // January 11, 2018 at 9:00 pm //

      Um this is an article that directly involves the riders . Your really not that bright are you.
      You just got proved wrong now run along sonny

  26. Hahahaaa oh horse “best young d coordinator in North america”.. a little rich No? Fact is your first string qb has a hero complex and it cost your supposed best team ever 2 cups. Get over it man . I hope collaros goes toe to toe with u guys next year. Pretty sure all our games were decidedly defensive battles but our 89 year old qb couldn’t run away from your pressure. Too ad u couldn’t solve 88 year old Ricky ray though.. that just boggles my mind.. best young d coordinator in North america .. haha give me strength

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