Bill Belichick Explains Why Patriots Signed Ricky Jean Francois


FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots added another body to their defensive front seven Tuesday, signing veteran D-lineman Ricky Jean Francois.

In his Wednesday morning news conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick briefly explained why the team chose to bring Jean Francois aboard.

“I just feel like we were trying to add a little depth to the defensive line,” Belichick said. “He’s played this year, has some experience.”

Jean Francois, who will turn 31 later this month, most recently played for Green Bay, appearing in six games for the Packers this season over two stints with the team. Before that, he spent two seasons with the Washington Redskins (2015 to 2016), two with the Indianapolis Colts (2013 to 2014) and four with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2009.

“He’s been on several different teams, played in different systems,” Belichick said. “Played 3-4 end, played inside on the guard. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Jean Francois’ most productive season came in 2014, when he tallied 28 tackles, three sacks and four pass deflections in 16 games for Indianapolis. He also started a career-high 13 games that year for a Colts team that lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots currently are thin along the D-line with Malcom Brown, who missed New England’s last game and did not practice Tuesday, nursing an ankle injury. Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine also remains on injured reserve and has yet to return to practice.

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports Images

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