My ears perked up when I learned the Bears signed John Franklin III after the team’s rookie minicamp wrapped up in May 2018. And not just because of his time on Netflix’s “Last Chance U” or because he had a unique prospect pedigree as a player at perennial powerhouses such as Florida State and Auburn. More than anything, Franklin was intriguing because he represented the one thing the Bears had a desperate need for entering the 2018 season — speed.
And now, Franklin will get a chance to burn it up for some cash.
Daniel Kaplan (The Athletic) has the details behind the 40 Yards of Gold event that is schedule to take place on Saturday. There is a $1 million grand prize for the winner and $2 million in total that can be won. For Franklin to do it, he’ll have to take down Terrell Sinkfield in the first-round of the 16-racer tournament. And in order to bring it all home, Franklin will need to emerge from a deep field of candidates.
Check out this bracket:
— Patrick Claybon (@PatrickClaybon) June 23, 2019
Alvin Kamara, Ted Ginn Jr., Marquise Goodwin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Trae Wayne are among the most known names slated to compete in the race hosted by Chad Ochocinco (or does he go by Chad Johnson now that his playing days are over?). And while there are players with name recognition in the running, Franklin has something no other participant owns — this ridiculous taped 40-time:
Franklin has recorded reported 40-times of 4.32 seconds and 4.44 seconds, but he also clocked in at 4.19 seconds during a workout in Fort Lauderdale in 2018. If Franklin can channel that speed, he has as good of a shot as anyone in the dash.
And perhaps if Franklin can make that crazy timed speed translate to game speed, he could sneak onto the season-opening 53-man roster if he catches some breaks along the way.
Go get ’em, speedster!