Many Falcons fans were expecting the team to pick up an interior linemen during the draft, but after no signing or pick was made, now seems like the perfect time.
After drafting Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chargers were expected to make some cuts on their offensive line. On Monday, the new Los Angeles team released veteran guard Orlando Franklin.
Franklin was drafted by the Broncos in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Miami. He played guard and tackle for Denver before opting to leave during free agency in 2015, and ultimately being picked up by the Chargers. The 29-year-old signed a five-year, $36.5 million contract in 2015. LA owed Franklin $3.5 million guaranteed this year, but decided that biting the bullet was worth it in order to give their new young talent a chance. Although he may be a bit pricey, the Falcons need to land this guy.
Franklin has started 89 games in the NFL at 29-years old. He missed six games with an injury in 2015, and came back to play every game in 2016, so obviously the guy is reliable. After a couple bad seasons on a lousy chargers O-line, its hard to judge the veteran off last year’s statistics. The 6′ 7″ 330 pound guard still has a few years before his regression becomes noticeable, and there’s no doubt he’s going to find a team before training camps open. The Falcons need to make a move.
Orlando Franklin would top off an already improved offensive line in Atlanta. He may not be guaranteed a starting job right away, but after borderline Pro Bowl seasons in Denver, I’m sure he would create an instant impact on the inside.