Another former New England Patriots player reportedly is set to join Matt Patricia in Detroit.
After signing running back LeGarrette Blount last week, the Lions are “working on a deal” for free agent defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Wednesday.
Blount was part of two Super Bowl-winning teams in New England before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles last spring and subsequently defeating his old squad to win another title.
Jean Francois’ Patriots stint, however, was much shorter. Cut four times by three different teams in 2017, the 31-year-old finally found a home in Patricia’s defense late in the season, playing in six regular-season games and three playoff games for New England before departing in free agency.
Patricia, who was hired as the Lions’ head coach last month after six seasons as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, also is considering bringing another ex-Patriots D-lineman aboard. Detroit is expected to host Alan Branch for a visit, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates on Wednesday.
Branch was one of the Patriots’ most effective defensive players in 2016, but he showed major signs of regression in 2017. He tallied just 12 total tackles in 12 games and was a healthy scratch for all three postseason contests.
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