The game’s most powerful single scoring force stunned the Hawks and AFL circles late last week when Franklin and his management declared all contract talks were off until after the season.
But Franklin made his first public appearance straight out of a weekend of fierce debate on his future beyond this season, to clearly declare allegiance to his Hawks.
The Hawks 2008 premiership superstar and two-times Coleman medallist as the game’s top goal-scorer declared his preference is to eventually settle on terms to stay with Hawthorn.
“I want to play football and I’ve got no intention of the leaving the (Hawthorn) football club,” he declared bluntly.
"I obviously love Hawthorn. They've been an absolutely great footy club.
“It's going to be a distraction.
"But it is what it is. I just want to play footy.
“It’s certainly a distraction and obviously the footy club is shocked that I didn’t sign either.
“But it is my decision.”
Franklin, 26, is certain to command and ultimately be paid in excess of a $1million a season for up to five years on his new contract and especially if he was tempted to leave the powerful Hawks.
The four-times All-Australian and 2008 Hawks fairest-and-best player will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and could leave for any new club of his choice if Hawthorn management could not match any big deal on offer from elsewhere.
In his eight destructive seasons at Hawthorn since being recruited at number five in the 2004 national draft, Franklin has played 161 senior games and booted 520 goals.
He has headed Hawks goal kicking five seasons and as potentially one of the supreme athletes of the league, could play another six years and into his early '30s.
Franklin's contract prospects will be one of Australian sport's hottest issues through 2013 and whether game-breaking powerhouse ultimately stays at Hawthorn or leaves.
Protracted uncertainty on any new Hawthorn deal will be identical to season-long expectations that former Geelong ball-winning genius Gary Ablett would leave the Cats and head to new franchise Gold throughout 2010.
The Brownlow medallist and dual Cats premiership gun eventually took a stunning five-year multi-million dollar deal to lead the Suns in the AFL debut season.
Ironically, Franklin and Ablett are managed by the same agent with former Geelong and North Melbourne follower Liam Pickering handling their affairs and contract negotiations.
Franklin was adamant his decision to stall talks with Hawks management was to funnel all of his energies into the new AFL season and attempts to win another Hawthorn premiership.
“I don’t get entangled in anyone else’s contract or any of the boys from the footy club,” he elaborated.
“It’s just something that’s not talked about.
“Internally, it won’t be spoken about.
“We just look forward to playing footy and hopefully winning a premiership.”