James Franklin explains his decision to retire: what I want is ‘not football anymore’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ quarterback James Franklin took to his Twitter account on Sunday to explain his decision to retire.

Thank you God for the opportunities, experiences, and people I met. Thank you family for being there for me, always. Thank you friends for the prayers and support. Thank you fans for believing in me when I doubted myself & the fans who hated & didn’t believe; you taught me to block out the nonsense.

Thank you media who looked to highlight the good & create drama, teaching me to use verbal self control. Thank you coaches who taught me how important it is to be able to disregard your belief in me & to the ones who understood how much they could impact my mindset & build me up.

Thank you teammates who had my back & believed in me to lead on the field & the teammates who turned their backs on me when things got rough. Thank you general managers who invested in me as more than just a business decision.Thank you equipment staffers who were looked down upon by players but still cleaned up after us in the locker rooms & made sure we had the equipment we needed to feel good & play.

Thank you athletic therapists who continued to take care of us so we could play the game ever after hearing every excuse as to why we didn’t show up for treatment.

Thank you administration for always helping me get tickets lined up for games, getting gear ordered for friends & family & organizing public events. Thank you strength & nutritionists for providing us with plans to help us perform to the best we could physically.

Football taught me a lot. One of the most important things it taught me is what I want. And it’s not football anymore. Thank you football.

The six-foot-two, 235-pound passer recently re-signed with the Riders after originally joining them during free agency in 2020. He leaves the organization having never taken a snap.

Franklin spent the previous two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts (2018-19) where he played 27 games. He threw for 2,836 yards with 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, along with 448 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.

Franklin spent three seasons in Edmonton (2015-17), winning the Grey Cup with the team as a rookie. He passed for 1,449 yards including 12 touchdowns and just one interception. He also rushed 18 times for 145 yards and an additional score.

Franklin played in the NCAA at the University of Missouri for four seasons (2010-2014). In 42 games Franklin threw for 6,962 yards and 51 touchdowns against 25 interceptions. He rushed for an additional 1,729 yards and 21 touchdowns. In 2011, the Texas native was named MVP of the 2011 Independence Bowl. In 2014, Franklin led the Tigers to a win at the Cotton Bowl. 

The veteran pivot recorded a farewell YouTube video where he reinforces his retirement note along with some highlights and photos from his career.