Ricky Jean-Francois (“Zhon fran-SWAH”) finished his sixth season in the National Football League as an Indianapolis Colt, but was released prior to free agency on Feb. 23. Three short days later it was reported that Jean-Francois had signed a deal with the Washington Redskins. Friday, it became official that Scot McCloughan had signed his former seventh-round draft pick from his days in San Francisco to a three-year deal worth up to $11.5 million (including incentives) and $4 million guaranteed.
Jean-Francois is coming off of his best statistical season with three sacks, six passes defended, 18 tackles, and 16 assists on tackles in a full 16 games played. In a defense that needed serious revamping by Jay Gruden, Joe Barry, and Scot McCloughan, this was the first of many moves to be made leading up to the start of the upcoming season which is six months away.
The signing of Jean-Francois led the Redskins to pull the trigger on a couple of holdovers, parting ways with both Barry Coefield and Stephen Bowen. Both were already 30 years old and today’s league is turning into a battle where those in their 20s are being able to outwork the elder veterans. The contract terminations cleared approximately $8.7 million in cap space.
Jean-Francois has a lot of playing time at defensive tackle and nose tackle. At 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds, it will be interesting to see if he is utilized at defensive end or nose tackle in Barry’s 3-4 scheme. Others on the team that will likely see time on the defensive line include Jason Hatcher, Jarvis Jenkins, and Chris Baker.