I have always liked Bubba Franks. Ever since he was drafted in 2000, he has been one of the more underrated tight ends in football, able to support the running game and make the occasional big play through the air. If there was one word to describe Bubba Franks, it was not “superstar,” “showstopper,” or “playmaker,” it was “reliable.” Nonetheless, I can’t say I’m sad to see Bubba Franks go. For whatever reason, the reliability for which I admired Mr. Franks has dissolved over the last two seasons. The once dependable Franks had begun dropping passes, missing blocks, and fumbling the football. In one particularly memorable game for me, the Vikings at Packers game in December of 2007 (a game that I was lucky enough to see at Lambeau Field, in what was my first and possibly only opportunity to see a game at the Frozen Tundra), Franks dropped several passes, gave up a sack on Brett Favre, and, most significantly, fumbled a potentially game-winning touchdown pass going into the endzone. Luckily, a trifecta of Dave Rayner field goals saved the day. But the point here is that Bubba Franks is no longer an upper-level NFL player, and his likely replacement, Donald Lee, will soon be a top-tier tight end. While I am glad that Franks will no longer be a burden on our team, I nonetheless wish him luck in his future in the NFL and beyond.
Meanwhile, Corey Williams received the franchise tag today, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. The defensive tackle will see a significant pay increase as the Packers’ designated “franchise player.” Some have questioned the move because of the Packers’ depth at defensive tackle and Williams’ lack of experience as an NFL starter. But to those who criticize the decision because of Green Bay’s depth at the position, consider this: Green Bay’s defensive front was decimated by injuries throughout the season so that by the end of the year, an unprepared and out-of-shape Justin Harrell was thrust into action; he failed miserably, and none of the backups achieved the same success as the early starters at DT, including Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly. Williams is definitely not the best player on the team, but there is no player as good as Williams that is in danger of being lost to free agency, so he is the most logical choice. He is young and has room to grow.