San Diego Chargers sign G Orlando Franklin

Two off-seasons ago, the Broncos stole one of the Chargers’ offensive linemen, signing Louis Vasquez to a 4-year, 23.5 million dollar deal with 13 million guaranteed. That worked out well. This off-season, the Chargers return the favor by signing ex-Bronco Orlando Franklin to a 5-year, 36.5 million dollar deal with 20 million guaranteed. Like the Vasquez deal, it’s a very solid value and will really help this team, especially given how bad their offensive line has been in recent years. Franklin will probably start at left guard in San Diego, where he played in Denver last season, but he also has experience at right tackle and could end up there in the future if DJ Fluker continues to struggle in pass protection. That versatility definitely is part of his value.

Franklin isn’t just versatile. He’s also good. Orlando Franklin has started 63 games since the Broncos drafted him in the 2nd round in 2011, 47 at right tackle from 2011-2013 and 16 at left guard last season. He’s graded out above average in each of the last 3 seasons, 12th among offensive tackles in 2012, 17th among offensive tackles in 2013, and 13th among guards in 2014. I think Franklin is a better overall player than Mike Iupati, who got 40 million over 5 years from the Cardinals, so this is definitely a good deal.

Grade: A-

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