Training camp is only 2 and a half weeks old, yet it appears that Packers tight end Bubba Franks may be without a job. Probably the most pressing issue is whether he will be on the team’s 53-man roster by the first game of the regular season, which is on September 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Franks didn’t exactly help his cause this past Saturday in the Packers’ preseason opener against the Pittaburgh Steelers when he dropped a seemingly easy catch on a 3rd-and-8 situation.
But as team director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie told Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Monday, “Hopefully, he can rebound from that. I think he’s having a solid camp. He hasn’t been dropping a whole bunch of balls, so hopefully that doesn’t become an issue. Hopefully, he’s not pressing. You don’t need to press.” That comment from McKenzie sounds like the Pack are lacking, quality-wise, in the TE department. They currently have at their disposal Franks, David Martin, Donald Lee, Zac Alcorn and 7th-round draft pick Clark Harris (Tory Humphrey is out with a broken ankle and lost for the season). Yet no one is standing out at this point.
You can bet the Packers are scouring the waiver wires for an impact TE, yet there appears to be none out there worth pursuing at this point. I would think that they will keep three. My bet is they keep Franks, Lee, and Martin. Who starts is anyone’s guess as Franks had a case of the “dropsies” last year, dropping 16% of passes coming his way. Lee isn’t exactly Tony Gonzalez either; he dropped 24% of his passes. Also consider that Franks makes $1.4 million this season, which is rather pricy for a backup TE. Those considerations aside, I would expect the Pack to make a final decision no later than WEEK 3 of this exhibition season.