Orlando Franklin moved to Toronto from Jamaica at the age of three, and played football in the Scarborough Minor Football Association (and OVFL Scarborough Thunder) before moving to Florida to receive college recruiting attention. His exuberance and passion for football caught the attention of scouts at the University of Miami.
After a successful collegiate career, Franklin was selected by the Broncos in the second round (46th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.
He quickly became a starter, first run blocking for Tim Tebow, then protecting Peyton Manning’s blind-side.
According to Chargers.com Managing Editor Ricky Henny, it was Franklin’s ‘love of football’ and willingness to do whatever his team asked (the same attributes that got him noticed as a teenager) that prompted the Chargers to make him one of the highest paid offensive linemen in football.
“General Manager Tom Telesco and Head Coach Mike McCoy prioritize players who love the game of football, and all it takes is one conversation with Orlando Franklin to see he’s someone that eats, sleeps and breathes the sport,” wrote Henny. “That’s why the Chargers pounced on the massive guard, agreeing to a five-year contract with the highly-coveted free agent on Tuesday.” http://www.chargers.com/news/2015/03/10/orlando-franklin-badly-wanted-be-bolt
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the five-year deal is worth $36.5 million, with $20 million guaranteed).
“The per-year value on that contract places Franklin either in the top five for guards, based on average annual salary, or makes him the new standard at right tackle,” wrote SI.com’s Chris Burke after the signing. “Franklin played both spots for the Broncos during his four-year stay — he was a right tackle from 2011-13, then slid to left guard and started 16 games last season. San Diego no doubt paid attention to those options when courting Franklin.” http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/03/09/nfl-free-agency-orlando-franklin-san-diego-chargers
Henny also pointed out that the 27-year-old Torontonian – who still spends much of his off season in his home city – was inclined towards the Chargers because of a familiarity with Head Coach McCoy. McCoy served as Franklin’s offensive coordinator his first two years in the league with the Denver Broncos.
“I’m excited to go to a team that I’m familiar as far as Mike McCoy and his scheme there,” Franklin told Henny. “The Chargers have always had a great offense in place with a great quarterback and a good offensive line. I had an offer on the table from (another team) that was a little bit more than San Diego offered, but I ended up coming to San Diego because I felt more comfortable with the scheme and McCoy. Obviously the line calls are going to change because it is a different offensive line coach, but at the same time, I am going to feel more comfortable because of McCoy, and I feel the Chargers run what I’ve done.”