TORONTO – He was nowhere to be found in the fall of 2013. While the first day of Maple Leafs training camp got underway at the Mastercard Centre in west Toronto, Cody Franson sat at home in his apartment, waiting for 3pm practice with the Ryerson Rams. He was mired in the second of three contract struggles, this one finally coming to a close on Sept. 26, less than a week before the start of the regular season. "It was really weird," he recalled of the experience. "Ive had a couple negotiations go close to the wire, but never where I anticipated that Id actually have to leave, pack up my bags and actually leave the rink the day before camp rather than just feeling like somethings going to get done. That was an odd feeling to wrap my head around. Its unfortunate that thats the way that it had to go, but thats the business sometimes." Franson remained a restricted free agent this past offseason and though it took the threat of arbitration, he and the Leafs were able to come to terms on yet another one-year deal, this one for $3.3 million. And so unlike last fall and the fall before that, the now 27-year-old defender begins what he agrees is the most important season of his NHL career without a contract hiccup to worry about. "I think Franny knows and feels that he has to have a better season than he did last year," said head coach, Randy Carlyle following the first day of on-ice workouts. "When a guy misses camp it can have an effect over the course of an 82-game schedule that he doesnt start well or he has more valleys than peaks. We saw that and we experienced that with Cody Franson for periods of time [last season] and hell be the first one to admit it." Franson describes his 2013-14 campaign as an inconsistent picture, on point some nights, not so much on others. He bounced between a rotating cast of defence partners and troubled defensive strategy, ultimately unable to fulfill the top-four role (and increased competition) the club had hoped he might be capable of assuming. His possession numbers were amongst the best on the team and he remained the highest scoring defender in Toronto, but he never quite found the groove of a year earlier, when he broke out with 29 points in 45 games while holding down 19 minutes per night. The stench of another collapse also lingered, almost to the point of no escape. Trips back home to tiny Sicamous, British Columbia this past summer brought with them the expected questions from friends and family, all curious as to how he and the Leafs could tumble so rapidly from a sure playoff position to yet another stinging miss last spring. "It just seems to be the common theme," he said of the meltdown, the third in as many years. That disastrous finish also left him wondering about his future in Toronto, especially precarious with new management in the fold. "When things happen like that you never know whats gonna happen," Franson said. "That opens a lot of doors that maybe typically wouldnt be open had we done well." His place with the organization has never really been all that secure. Signed to three one-year deals, each with a dispute of some kind, Franson has mostly been left wondering where exactly he fits in the Leafs big picture. And hed like to change that this season. In describing his goals for the coming year, Franson says he would like to keep up the offensive production, remain a physical presence, and become an improved all-around defender. Because the Leafs added Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak in the offseason, Carlyle may be able to employ him in a less demanding role, something closer to the third pairing duty and competition he excelled with in 2013 – be it alongside Morgan Rielly or Jake Gardiner. Set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time next summer, Franson has a lot riding on the year that follows. Its not a stretch to call it the biggest season of his career. "Oh, definitely," he said. "With [unrestricted] free agency next year Im out to prove that I can do the job that they need me to do. This is where I want to be. Im hopeful that something can get done. Ive got to have a big year in order for that to happen." Air Jordan 5 For Sale Australia . Russia has spent about $51 billion to deliver the Sochi Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23, making them the most expensive games ever, even though as a winter event it hosts many fewer athletes than summer games do. Air Jordan 5 Australia Online . 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Nearly four years to the day of the 2010 gold medal match in Vancouver, his team dug in with its best effort of these Olympics, snuffing out the high-powered Americans for another opportunity at gold.TEMPE, Ariz. -- A month from his 30th birthday, Antonio Cromartie is coming to the desert to face the challenges of the NFC West. The three-time Pro Bowl cornerback signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals on Thursday, saying he was lured by the teams aggressive pursuit of him and the fact that the team is developing into a contender. "I was looking for a team that was contending," Cromartie said at a late afternoon news conference, "and I found it. Like I said, they are moving in the right direction." Despite Cromarties pedigree, there was no avalanche of interest from other teams when the New York Jets released him on March 9. "I dont know. I really dont know," he said when asked why. "Maybe it was playing into my age, I dont know. Maybe it was playing into my hip. No one knew the outcome of my hip from last year or anything like that. I dont know, but Im happy where Im at." Cromartie was bothered by a hip flexor strain the first 12 weeks of last season but said it improved over the final month. " Right now, I feel like Im 100 per cent," he said. "Ive been running around, cutting and doing everything else. I havent had any problems with it." The Cardinals move is in line with a flurry of one-year deals general manager Steve Keim signed players to in his first months on the job last year. "Just like a lot of the other guys that weve signed in the past, I feel really good about the fact that a guy who has a chip on his shoulder, has huge upside, has all the physical tools and has played at a high level," Keim said, "and now were bringing him in on a one-year deal where hes ready to prove to the NFL and the world that hes still the same kind of guy." Cromartie called his release by the Jets and the relative disinterest from other teams "big-time motivation" for his coming season. "You dont get many phone calls, but its mootivation to come out for one (year).dddddddddddd You are part of a team that is right where it needs to be. It is a team that is committed to winning and also a team that is right on the edge, on the verge of being a Super Bowl championship team and thats what you look for. Im a veteran guy. Im going into my ninth year, and thats what you look for." Cromartie led the Jets last season with three interceptions. He also had eight passes defenced and one forced fumble. He was released by the Jets on March 9. For his career, Cromartie, the No. 19 overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2006 draft, has 28 interceptions, 97 passes defenced, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He has had two interceptions in the playoffs. Cromartie start alongside Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson. Tyrann Matiheu played the nickel corner as well as safety as a rookie last year before going down with torn knee ligaments. Cromartie called that a formidable trio. "When you add all three of us into the secondary," Cromartie said, "it just speaks volumes of what this secondary can be because you have three guys on the back end that have the potential of making an interception and turning it into a touchdown. You have three playmakers on the back end. Thats what you are looking for. You are looking for guys to be a great tandem on the back and be game changers at the end of the day." Cromartie reportedly was interested in returning to the Jets but visited the Cardinals last week. He was named All-Pro after leading the NFL with a career-high 10 interceptions in 2007. He has scored five touchdowns, including a 109-yard interception return that is tied for the longest play in NFL history. Cromartie has missed one game the past four seasons. 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