Packers Sign Run Stopper DT Ricky Jean Francois
The Packers fortified their defensive line, adding veteran Ricky Jean Francois on Thursday. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the veteran defensive lineman signed a one year, $3 million dollar deal.
Jean Francois was released by the Redskins shortly after criticizing the franchise for firing GM Scot McCloughan. The journeyman lineman visited with both the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks recently.
An interior defender and owner of 25 Dunkin Donuts, Jean Francois has spent the last two seasons with the Washington Redskins. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s been a stout if unspectacular defender over the balance of his career.
How Ricky Jean Francois Helps the Packers in 2017
Throughout his career, he’s been a solid run stopper. Jean Francois has the ability to play all three spots in a 3-4 front and occasionally did so for the Colts, where he played 2013 and 2014.
He began his career with the San Francisco 49ers as a seventh-round pick in 2009, where he spent four years playing in the rotation on a strong defense.
San Francisco, Indianapolis and Washington have all limited his exposure in pass rushing situations. When Green Bay plays nickel (five defensive backs) or dime (six defensive backs), they often look to the defensive linemen to eat blocks to allow linebackers or safeties free range at the quarterback.
At 6-3 and 313, he’s exactly one pound lighter than second-year defensive tackle Kenny Clark. The Packers are counting on Clark to play a hybrid role on the defensive line, and Jean Francois will help alleviate the pressure on Green Bay's youngest player.
Jean Francois’ Impact on Letroy Guion
Letroy Guion may be a large part of why Jean Francois is joining the Packers. Guion was suspended recently and will miss the first four games of the regular season after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
After the suspension was levied, the Packers and Guion renegotiated their three-year contract that was struck last offseason to defer a roster bonus due this offseason to after Guion’s suspension is served.
Jean Francois gives Dom Capers a player whose skillset matches what Guion provided in 2016.