Riders sign quarterback James Franklin

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed quarterback James Franklin to a one-year contract through the 2020 season, per sources.

Just two short seasons ago, Franklin was viewed my multiple CFL personnel men as a bona fide QB1. Over Franklin’s first three seasons in Edmonton, he completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,449 yards and 12 touchdowns against one interception. Jason Maas was his coach with the Eskimos and he’s now employed as the Riders offensive coordinator. Saskatchewan secures a quality signal caller behind Cody Fajardo.

Former Toronto general manager Jim Popp traded with the Esks in December 2017 viewing the six-foot-two, 225-pound pivot as the Argos potential quarterback of the future. Popp inked Franklin to a two-year deal in January 2018 worth $250,000 and $272,000 in hard money respectively each season.

Through 79 CFL games, Franklin has completed 65 percent of his attempts for 4,305 yards with 23 touchdowns against 16 interceptions. Franklin is strong as a short yardage quarterback and can run from pressure, he’s accumulated 593 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground — 5.2 yards per carry.

Many of those numbers were totalled during 16 career starts Franklin has made, invaluable reps for a player still with promise and potential. Franklin elevates the Riders’ QB position and provides critical experience behind Fajardo.

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