Indianapolis Colts’ Zaire Franklin Snubbed in Top Linebackers List

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin continues to get disrespected, this time by Pro Football Focus (PFF). Despite ranking second in the NFL for both total and solo tackles last season, Franklin didn’t make PFF’s top 32 linebackers list for 2024.

Franklin almost led the league with 179 total tackles, missing just one game. Drafted in the seventh round in 2018, he has stayed loyal to Indy, consistently improving his stats and becoming a cornerstone in Gus Bradley’s defense.

PFF’s rating of Franklin—a measly 60.9 overall grade—doesn’t reflect his true impact. In contrast, New Orleans Saints linebacker Willie Gay Jr. ranked 31st with a lower grade of 55.9. This discrepancy raises questions about PFF’s criteria and respect for Franklin’s contributions.

Franklin’s 2023 season wasn’t just about tackles. He set a franchise record for the most tackles in a season, forced two fumbles, and recorded 1.5 sacks. These stats earned him a contract extension worth approximately $10 million per year through 2024, a bargain considering top linebackers earn nearly $20 million annually.

The Colts star aims to silence his critics in the 2024 season. Lining up alongside E.J. Speed, Franklin seeks to break his own franchise record for tackles for a third consecutive year. If he does, PFF and other skeptics might finally give him the respect he deserves.

Franklin’s omission from PFF’s list seems more like an oversight than an accurate assessment. As he gears up for another dominant season, expect Franklin to use this snub as motivation to prove why he should be recognized among the NFL’s elite linebackers. The Indianapolis Colts certainly know his value; it’s time for the rest of the league to catch up.

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