Franklin has bounced around a little bit in recent times. After playing four years with the Baltimore Ravens, Franklin went to the San Francisco 49ers for three seasons before playing one with the New Orleans Saints and last year with the San Diego Chargers.
In 12 games last season, Franklin notched 20 tackles without nabbing a sack. Signing Franklin gives the Colts some insurance in case Josh Chapman were to suffer an injury. In the meantime, Franklin can be a rotational piece whom Chapman can learn from in practice and, more importantly, the film room.
The signing continues the Colts' free agency frenzy, which has netted them quite a few new starters. Indianapolis entered the offseason with $43 million to spend and has used up most of that number.
The Colts inked safety LaRon Landry, offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus, guard Donald Thomas, backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, inside linebacker Erik Walden, cornerback Greg Toler and defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois.
Landry is an excellent safety who while not providing a ton in coverage, can come down in the box and thump with the best of them. The biggest knock on Landry has been his durability, as he's been limited to 17 games combined in 2010 and 2011. Landry bounced back last year, starting all 16 games.
Cherilus comes to Indianapolis after spending five years with the Detroit Lions. Cherilus will be expected to fill right tackle and is an upgrade, but is he worth his five-year/$34.5 million price tag? Probably not. Cherilus has never shown to be a top player at his position.
Thomas is 27 years old and been a backup with the Miami Dolphins, Lions and New England Patriots most of his career, starting six games at left guard last year and 12 in 2009 for Miami. The Colts gave him four years and $14 million, something a little rich for him perhaps but not a cap killer if he fails to work out.
Bringing in Hasselbeck is a beautiful move by Indianapolis, giving Andrew Luck a once great player to learn from who can still come in and win games if he needs to. Hasselbeck is one of the most underrated quarterbacks of this generation.
Unfortunately, that gets us to Walden, who was massively overpaid. The Colts inked Walden to a four-year/$16 million deal, despite him never being, well, good. Walden's best year came in 2011 when he started 15 games at inside linebacker and made just 60 tackles, a mediocre number at best for his position.
Toler was brought in from the Arizona Cardinals out of pure necessity and for three years and $14.5 million, it's not a bad move. Toler will provide some help in a secondary that desperately needed it after watching failure after failure at corner last year.
Jean-Francois, without question, was the worst signing of the offseason. Does he have pictures of someone in the organization or something? The Colts willingly, we think, signed Jean-Francois to a four-year/$22 million contract despite being nothing more than a backup his entire career with the 49ers. In his four-year career, he has 49 tackles and three sacks. Yikes.
Then, there's the mystery receiver that owner Jim Irsay has tweeted about landing, which could be a big upgrade or another insane overpay for Indianapolis. There isn't a free agent receiver worth being described as a game-changer, but could he be talking about New York Giants wideout Victor Cruz, who is a restricted free agent?
Should the Colts sign Cruz to an offer sheet, the Giants would have the right to match. If they didn't, Cruz would go to Indianapolis and New York would get the Colts' first-round pick.
All in all, it's been a busy offseason for a team with designs on winning the AFC South and going further in the playoffs this season behind Luck and co.