Free Agency seems to have started early (kinda). Despite the fact that the San Diego Chargers can not yet begin the process of signing players, they're ready to!
Source says Chargers won that one. MT @PhillySportsJD: According to @Jeff_McLane, Eagles pursuing Denver Broncos OL Orlando Franklin.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 8, 2015
Source on Saturday characterized OL Orlando Franklin to Chargers as "unofficially done." Continue to hear same.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) March 8, 2015
Orlando Franklin started 47 games at RT for the Denver Broncos in his first three seasons, but then became the odd man out when the team signed former Redskins C Will Montgomery. That signing moved Manny Ramirez from C to RG, which moved Louis Vasquez from RG to RT, which moved Franklin from RT to LG....for some reason.
Franklin played well at LG, as he did when he was a RT, but he can earn more by leaving the Broncos and going back to his natural position. Signing with the Charges allows him to do that, which then moves D.J. Fluker to RG, and he also gets the chance to beat his former team twice per season for displacing him in the first place.
That would leave the Left Guard spot as the only one that the Chargers might want to upgrade, if they decide to release Chad Rinehart. The other four spots would be set, at least as far as starters go.
Keep an eye on this Franklin rumor. It's not official, but it seems close and it makes a ton of sense.
UPDATE: We now have some contract information regarding guaranteed money and average annual value, but nothing on years.
@OFranklin74 Franklin's deal with @Chargers is for $7.2 million average/year with $14 million guaranteed.— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 9, 2015