February 21, 2024

TRANSACTION | Elks sign John Franklin III (WR)

John Franklin III with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Photo Courtesy: buccaneers.com

EDMONTON – The Edmonton Elks have signed wide receiver John Franklin III, the club announced Wednesday.

Franklin played the last two seasons in the United States Football League (USFL) with the Memphis Showboats in 2023 and another with the Tampa Bay Bandits in 2022. He appeared in one game for the Showboats, recording one reception for 11 yards, while suiting up in nine games for the Bandits in 2022, where he had 14 catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns.

Prior to joining the USFL, the German-born Franklin spent parts of four seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears (2018) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2019-21). The 29-year-old played in one game for the Bucs, registering one rush for 11 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17 of the 2019 season.

The former quarterback played five seasons of college football with Florida State (2013-14), East Mississippi CC (2015), Auburn University (2016) and Florida Atlantic (2017). In his final year at Florida Atlantic, Franklin made the move from quarterback to wide receiver, totalling seven receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown in 13 games for the Owls.

Franklin was one of the stars of the hit Netflix reality show ‘Last Chance U’ during its first season.

2024 marks the 75th season of pro football in Edmonton, as the Elks open a new CFL campaign on Saturday, June 8 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Commonwealth Stadium. Season tickets are available now, with all youth season tickets $75 (17 and under) and adult tickets starting at $175.




The Edmonton Elks are proud members of the Canadian Football League, playing their home games at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.

The club, officially renamed the Elks in June of 2021, has a tradition of excellence having won 14 Grey Cup championships (1954-56, 1975, 1978-82, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2015). Since its founding, the club has been community-owned and remains focused on providing outstanding football memories for Edmonton and all of Northern Alberta.

Elks Football…Our Team. Our City.