Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton says the Hawks anticipated Franklin wouldn’t make it to the end of his contract when he signed for the Sydney Swans and would only make it until 2020.
Franklin departed the Hawks at the end of the 2013 season on a nine-year, $10 million contract after Hawthorn decided not to match the offer to keep him a Hawk.
With Franklin debuting as a Swan at 27 years of age, the length of his contract was potentially going to be an issue at some point. Franklin has played 118 games for the Swans, but has only managed to play in every match of a season in just one season since his move to Sydney, which was in 2016.
It is likely that Franklin, 33, will now miss most of the 2020 season after suffering another hamstring injury, which is seemingly worse than the one that kept him out of action for nine weeks in 2019. And with Franklin’s deal set to expire in 2022, things are looking a bit cloudy for the star forward.
Brereton said during the week on Fox Footy Live that he expected a Franklin break down come the latter part of his contract with the Swans.
“Those at Hawthorn thought, we can’t match that,” he said.
“We can’t match that but they’re probably only getting him for seven (years). That was the estimation.
“I remember at Hawthorn. He had back issues, and we didn’t think he was going to get another nine years out.
“Probably thought, look, if they can get seven out of him, well done. That’s what he’s at now, he’s in the seventh now.
“The back issues – I don’t know whether they all roll in. We say miles on the clock, the odometer’s ticking over.”
Franklin has played 300 games in his career and sits seventh on the all-time VFL/AFL goal kicking list, just 56 goals away from the 1000 mark for his career.