The Green Bay Packers have been unusually active this offseason and the team made another move Thursday, signing free-agent defensive lineman Ricky-Jean Francois. The terms of the deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, is for one year, $3 million.
Following the suspension of Letroy Guion and the departures of Mike Pennel and Datone Jones, the Packers were in desperate need of a big body up front and Francois fits the bill.
The former seventh-round pick has played with the Colts and 49ers, as well as the Redskins and has a lot of experience playing in a 3-4 front.
Last season, playing for Washington, Francois registered 32 tackles, had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. In his two previous seasons, he combined to notch five sacks and eight tackles for loss.
With Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Dean Lowry, the Packers have three players capable of starting on their defensive front. But after that, at least until Guion returns, the depth was shaky.
Green Bay will still need to add another body, either in the draft or later on in free agency, but now that the Packers have Francois, the need became far less urgent.
One nice thing about the move, is that since Francois was cut, it won’t affect compensatory selections. The move also gives Green Bay is a big body that can stuff the run.
Francois shouldn’t be confused for a stud pass rusher, but he’s hard to move and his ability to hold his own inside, is something that will definitely pay off down the road.