The Green Bay Packers made some unusual dips into free agency this season, adding veterans at positions all across the roster. However, two such players — Davon House and Ricky Jean Francois — will be called upon to play significant roles immediately in 2017.
Granted, both players are in Green Bay on one-year contracts, which necessitates for the player the need to make an impact right away. However, the positions at which both players play will be in need of a boost.
House is a boundary corner, which is the position that was hit hardest by injury of any on the Packers’ roster last year and ended up being the team’s greatest weakness by the end of the season. Jean-Francois gives the Packers a likely starter at the 5-tech defensive end spot, and hopefully provides Dom Capers with more options with which to run a 3-man line on early downs.
As we look ahead to 2017, keep an eye on these two players, among others, as early contributors this season.
Oh, and here’s a bonus fun fact for you: there are two players in history with “Francois” in their names, and both of them have been employed by the Packers (linebacker Rob Francois being the other).
Whitt on House: 'He can be special' | Packers.com
CB coach Joe Whitt said that Davon House has "come further than anybody (else)" that he has coached in his time, and that the returning Packer still has great potential to grow.
Ricky Jean-Francois picked Packers over Seahawks because of Aaron Rodgers | Packers Wire
Good choice, Ricky! We'd do the same if given the choice.
Green and Bold: Can Jayrone Elliott Make the Jump? | CheeseheadTV.com
Elliott returned after trying free agency this March, in part because he has "unfinished business" in Green Bay and didn't want to deal with adjusting to a new locker room. Even though he had at least one multi-year contract offer, he's in Green Bay for one more season (for now) and looking to take that big step forward on defense to match his special teams play.
Davante Adams not putting limits on encore season | Packersnews.com
The Packers’ breakout receiver from a year ago looks to follow up his big year with continued improvement. Despite finishing just three yards short of 1,000 last year, he’s not aiming for a specific number, focusing instead on simply improving his skills and the performance he puts on the tape rather than on the stat sheet.
Next up on Green Bay Packers' punting carousel: Rookie Justin Vogel - ESPN
Vogel suddenly becomes the de facto starting punter due to Jacob Schum's injury, but he acknowledges that nothing is a sure thing and that the team "could bring in another guy tomorrow."
Christine Michael signs with Colts. Will he stick this time? - SBNation.com
Michael has a new home a few weeks after the Packers waived him due to the influx of players at the running back position.
New York Jets trading Calvin Pryor to Cleveland Browns - NFL.com
Pryor was the first safety drafted in 2014, going three picks before the Packers chose Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. So far, it's clear that the Packers got the better end of that deal.