Remember the name Ricky Jean Francois? The guy that was initially reported to be finalizing a deal with the Detroit Lions earlier this offseason, only to go on Twitter and blast the report, calling it “fake news?” The guy that since then has went into hiding, and hasn’t been heard from in months?
Well, it turns out the Lions are still very interested, as Ian Rapoport is reporting that Jean-Francois is visiting Detroit on Wednesday:
Veteran DT Ricky Jean Francois, who played for the #Patriots, is visiting the #Lions today, source said. Obviously some familiarity with coach Matt Patricia.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2018
The former Patriots defensive tackle visited with the Lions back in March and reportedly nearly agreed to a deal, but things obviously fell through at the time. Four months later, the Lions could possibly add him just before training camp starts.
Francois has been in the NFL for nine years, but he most recently spent his time with Matt Patricia and the Patriots, playing in six games and all three postseason games in New England. While only a starter for one game, Francois carved himself a nice rotational role for the Patriots down the stretch, amassing 10 tackles and a decent PFF grade of 77.3.
The Lions could certainly use the defensive line help, especially from a guy somewhat familiar with Patricia’s defensive methods. Though they added Sylvester Williams in free agency and Da’Shawn Hand in the draft, the Lions could really use a veteran presence that Detroit will be missing from losing Haloti Ngata in free agency.
While Francois won’t be the savior of the Lions defensive line, he could be an important piece... if the Lions close the deal this time.