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Bubba not showing up???

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Steel Wheels, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Steel Wheels

    Steel Wheels Cheesehead

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    Without a contract, he can't report to camp

    By BOB McGINN
    bmcginn@journalsentinel.com

    Posted: July 22, 2005

    Green Bay - Javon Walker isn't going to be the only member of the Green Bay Packers' receiving corps missing Wednesday when veterans are due to report for the start of training camp.

    Bubba Franks probably won't be in camp on Wednesday. Barring a dramatic turn in negotiations, the team won't have tight end Bubba Franks, either.

    "I guess you can never tell until the 11th hour," Franks' agent, Gene Mato, said Friday. "But unfortunately, it doesn't look like he's going to be there. However, he really wants to be there. To this point, I don't believe the team has stepped up."

    Unlike Walker, who has two years remaining on his contract, Franks has no contract and is prevented from reporting until he does. The team essentially kept Franks off the unrestricted free-agent market in February by designating him as a transition player.

    Friday was the deadline for Franks to negotiate with other teams. As a transition player, the Packers retained the right to match any offer. Several teams called during the signing period but Mato said nothing was substantive.

    The Packers continue to count against their salary cap Franks' transition tag of $2.095 million. The cap charge can't be removed unless Franks is cut, traded or re-signed to a new deal.

    Would Franks sign the one-year tender for that amount just to get into camp?

    "We have not made that decision as of yet," Mato said. "Bubba's really focused on a long-term deal. Bubba's every intention has been to retire as a Packer."

    If the Packers can sign Franks to a long-term contract, they probably would gain some cap room because his base salary could be as low as $540,000. Franks' original rookie contract (five years, $6.45 million) expired after last season.

    Over the last five months the Packers have made two proposals and Mato said he has made two proposals. The lengths being discussed are three to five years.

    The agent's most recent conversation with club negotiator Andrew Brandt was last week and no other talks are scheduled. He has spoken to general manager Ted Thompson, as well.

    Thompson didn't return a telephone call seeking comment Friday.

    "We've had enough discussions to determine that we're very far apart," Mato said, characterizing the Packers' offer as "unfair, substandard."

    It's hard to determine just how much Franks is seeking or what the club wants to pay him.

    There are three NFL tight ends with contracts averaging more than $4 million per year: Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez ($4.785 million average, $10 million in bonuses), Baltimore's Todd Heap ($4.58 million average, $9 million in bonuses) and Atlanta's Alge Crumpler ($4.429 million average, $9 million in bonuses). Gonzalez signed his deal in September 2002, Heap in June and Crumpler last October.

    Most of the other top tight ends, including San Diego's Antonio Gates, the New York Giants' Jeremy Shockey, Miami's Randy McMichael and Dallas' Jason Witten, are working on their original contracts and might sign lucrative new deals within a year.

    A contract that undoubtedly has been cited in the Franks discussions is the five-year, $15 million deal ($4.25 million signing bonus) that Minnesota's Jim Kleinsasser signed in March 2004. Kleinsasser, 28, has never been voted to a Pro Bowl whereas Franks, 27, has been voted to two as a starter and played in another as a replacement.

    The team appears to be offering Franks a deal averaging in the $2.5 million range and Franks appears amenable to an average in the $3.5 million range.

    "I'm not controversial," said Mato, who became a certified agent in 1997. "Bubba's not controversial. We understand the business side of this. In this situation, we don't understand where the team is coming from.

    "Bubba believes that he has done everything that has been asked of him from a football standpoint to be rewarded with a long-term deal. He played out his rookie contract never asking for an extension and never threatening a holdout even though he has been in three Pro Bowls.

    "He has never complained about lack of receptions. He has always been a team player. Off the field, he has never been in any trouble."

    Aware of his shortcomings as a deep receiver, Franks has lost 10 pounds and now weighs 255. He has been working out with wide receivers and other NFL players at the University of Miami.

    "He's obviously very frustrated," Mato said. "All he's looking for is to be treated fairly. The team seems to want to focus on his amount of receptions and compare him with other tight ends based on that figure alone. (Blocking) doesn't seem that it's an issue from their side."

    Considering a depth chart topped by David Martin and Ben Steele if the Packers don't have Franks, Mato said, "Put it this way: I wouldn't draft those players on my fantasy team."

    Draftee signs: Wide receiver Craig Bragg, a sixth-round draft choice, signed Friday. The Packers now have signed the last six of their 11 picks but none of the first five.
     
  2. packedhouse01

    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    You know what? Bubba is a good guy. He catches some passes, is a heck of a blacker and doesn't get hurt. Is he worth 3 or 4 million dollars? Probablly not, but I'd like to see the Packers take care of this guy. They don't really have a great tight end in the waiting so pay the guy and get him into camp.
     
  3. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    When is Bubba gonna hire Rosenhaus?

    Bubba is putting himself right next to Verba.
     
  4. Steel Wheels

    Steel Wheels Cheesehead

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    Bubba Franks deserves as much as Minnesota TE Jimmy Kleinsasser, five-year, $15 million ($4.25 million signing bonus).
     
  5. MajicMan

    MajicMan Cheesehead

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    Yeah, so Kleinsasser hosed the Queens out of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, can't blame Franks for wanting that...But teams shouldn't pay because other teams are stupid.

    As for the Franks situation as a whole.

    Gotta love how Mato is handing this:

    "I'm not controversial," said Mato, who became a certified agent in 1997. "Bubba's not controversial. We understand the business side of this. In this situation, we don't understand where the team is coming from.

    "Bubba believes that he has done everything that has been asked of him from a football standpoint to be rewarded with a long-term deal. He played out his rookie contract never asking for an extension and never threatening a holdout even though he has been in three Pro Bowls.

    "He has never complained about lack of receptions. He has always been a team player. Off the field, he has never been in any trouble."

    ..."Bubba's really focused on a long-term deal. Bubba's every intention has been to retire as a Packer.

    This guy is touting himself as the anti-Rosenpig. Nice move. Music to my ears. :mrgreen:

    I say stop fishing for a "Gonzalez type" TE, be happy with what you have, stop lowballing Bubba for balls you don't throw his way...and sign him long term at a middle number that gives a little for what Bubba has done for this team.

    Make a statement, reward Bubba for doing everything we've asked of him, and waiting to get paid when the time is right...and here's a new concept:

    Trying expanding the sure handed Franks responsibilites all over the field...

    How about a few more balls outside the redzone? I think he's been pigeonholed because he's not Tony Gonzalez, but he could do fine with his solid all-around skills at TE.
     
  6. agopackgo4

    agopackgo4 Cheesehead

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    Hey I really hope that the Packers can sign Bubba again. He is a very good person and dont forget that there are not that many good tight ends in the NFL, I think it would be great to sign him.
     

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