Two weeks after free agency officially began, the Green Bay Packers have locked up a significant piece for their defensive front. With Letroy Guion under suspension for the first four games of the 2017 season, the Packers were in need of another body on the defensive line.
They have found that body in Ricky Jean-Francois.
According to Adam Schefter, Francois has signed a one-year deal with the Packers worth $3 million. The 30-year-old should be a good scheme fit for the Packers’ defense, as he can play the 5-technique end position as well as rush the passer from the interior in nickel or dime packages. With Guion’s absence, he likely steps in immediately as the starter at the 5-tech spot in the base.
The 6’3”, 313-pound lineman has not missed a game since 2013, and has missed a total of six games in the last seven seasons. Over the past five years, he has a total of 11 sacks.
Jean-Francois was a seventh-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2009, then spent two years each with the Indianapolis Colts and Washington, who released him on March 15th with one year left on his contract. Once again, by signing a player who was released by his previous team, the Packers land a player who does not count against their compensatory picks. However, he likely would not have affected the calculation, since the Packers are already likely to reach the maximum of four picks in 2018.
Using the numbers available at Overthecap.com, the Packers would have approximately $24 million in salary cap space after this signing. This does not account for the contract recently signed by Christine Michael, as terms of that deal have not yet been disclosed.