WARE, England – The question hit John Franklin-Myers hard.
Fresh off getting a four-year, $55 million contract extension with the Jets, Franklin-Myers was asked who he called first with the news.
“My son, honestly,” Franklin-Myers said. “I wished that he was there when I signed it but it just happened so fast. You don’t know how fast those talks go and we wanted to get it done before heading to London. He didn’t get a chance to be there. I just wanted to talk to him. I play football …”
At this point, Franklin-Myers broke down in tears in an emotional scene. He then composed himself to finish the thought.
“For him. I just want to give him every opportunity,” he said before breaking down again.
The British press began clapping for Franklin-Myers because it was so moving.
Franklin-Myers signed the deal Thursday before the Jets left for England, where they face the Falcons on Sunday. The Jets and Franklin-Myers’ representatives have been talking about getting an extension done since mid-August. As Franklin-Myers racked up three sacks in the Jets’ first four games, the price went up. But the two sides reached an agreement on the four-year extension that will pay him $30.2 million guaranteed.
“JFM is a stud,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “When we first got here, we studied all our players and the one of the guys that stood out to us was JFM. Obviously, among other guys, but he stood out. We didn’t know anything about JFM and man, he can really take off. We felt he could be a really great fit for our system and what we ask out of our defensive line and he has done nothing but work, work, work. He’s been a tremendous leader and then you see his play on the football field. He’s absolutely dominant at times.”
The Jets claimed Franklin-Myers off waivers from the Rams in 2019. After missing the 2019 season with a foot injury, he emerged last year as a strong player on the Jets defense. This season, he has gotten even better.
Franklin-Myers could have waited to hit free agency in March and try to get a bidding war going for his services, but he said staying with the Jets was a priority and he did not think about waiting.
“No, because to me it’s not about the money,” he said. “We do play football for money. I think it’s about the environment and getting the opportunity to play with guys and to win games ultimately. With this coaching staff and the guys that they give me an opportunity to play with, I think I won’t be in a better position anywhere. The defense suits me perfectly playing inside and outside. There was no question once we got the numbers right and the mutual interest there.”
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