Packers 2017 Recap: DL Ricky Jean Francois

Ricky Jean Francois started his season as a rotational player on the Packers’ defensive line and ended his season playing for a Super Bowl championship with the New England Patriots.

2017 Stats

  • Appeared in six games with no starts (60 snaps on defense, one snap on special teams)
  • One tackle

Expectations going into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Not met

Analysis: Ricky Jean Francois can’t compete with Dial, Adams

Sometimes NFL players are defined less by what they are and more by what they are not.

When the Packers signed Ricky Jean Francois in March 2017, he figured to be a solid depth player on the defensive line. Given his solid background in run defense, it seemed clear that he’d have a role in Green Bay.

But a month later, the Packers drafted Montravius Adams, already putting Jean Francois behind the eight ball for playing time. Then, just as the season was about to begin, the Packers signed Quinton Dial, further putting Jean Francois’s future with the Packers in jeopardy.

Released and re-signed early in the season, Jean Francois never garnered significant playing time, and after Adams recovered from an injury sustained in training camp, Francois’s time in Green Bay came to an end.

Though Jean Francois’s play wasn’t the issue, he was released for a couple reasons completely out of his control: he was neither as big nor as strong as Dial, and he didn’t have the benefit of being a recent draft pick like Adams. It may not be fair, but that’s sometimes the way things break in the NFL.