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Ricky Jean Francois: The Great Escape From Washington D.C.

The newest member of the Green Bay Packers, Ricky Jean Francois, said he was surprised when he was abruptly released by the Washington Redskins on March 15. I doubt that. The Packers jumped at the opportunity, had him visit Green Bay on Wednesday evening, and signed him on Thursday.

There’s a back story to all this. On March 9, Francois appeared on The Sean Salisbury Show on SB Nation Radio. He ripped the team’s leadership and bemoaned the team’s dysfunction for almost 10 minutes.

A sampling: “It seems like we’re getting back to the norm, we’re getting back to the dysfunctional, we’re getting back to the drama… Everything is changed and it’s like, why?”

You can listen to the audio here.

On that very same day, receiver DeSean Jackson signed a three-year deal with the Buccaneers at over $11 million per year and receiver Pierre Garcon signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the 49ers. Francois’ fellow defensive line-mate Chris Baker is also gone, joining Jackson with the Bucs.

Jackson and Garcon were both 1,000-yard receivers in 2016. The Packers beat the Redskins, 35-18, in the 2015 Wild Card game, but the Redskins came back and trounced Green Bay, 42-24, last November.

Talk about dysfunction. Both the offensive and defensive coordinators are also gone – Sean McVay left his offensive job to become the 30-year old head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. Franchise QB Kirk Cousins wants a trade. Oh, and shortly after Francois went public, the team announced the firing of the guy who usually does the firings, general manager Scot McCloughan.

It seems clear to me that Francois went on the show as part of an escape plan. It worked: the Redskins promptly released him and he’s landed in the more tranquil confines of Green Bay.

Prospects for Francois

As we have reported, Francois’ signing makes it more likely that that Packers might do what I urged earlier in the month: dump Letroy Guion. Francois is making starter’s money and he’ll surely be starting when the season opens – as Guion begins his bi-annual early season vacation. Guion also missed the first three games of 2015 due to suspension.

The two players are pretty even in terms of ability. The big difference between them is that Guion is more beholden to his drugs than to his team and teammates.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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7 Comments

  1. PF4L March 26, 2017

    That’s an interesting story. But at the end of the day, how does this upgrade the Packers defense? If the assumption is he’s going to replace Guion, (which i agree with Rob on). We stayed the some talent wise and ability as Rob acknowledged.

    Wake me up when Ted makes any sort of upgrade.

    1. PF4L March 26, 2017

      *same

  2. MJ March 26, 2017

    If this great-escape story is true, it could mean that he is interested in playing for a team that can achieve something. He will be motivated to play strong.

    1. PF4L March 26, 2017

      He’s been with 3 teams, were his 4th. He’s 30, if he hasn’t been motivated by now, he might wanna retire and pursue another line of work that motivates him.

      1. MJ March 26, 2017

        Who cares if he was or wasn’t motivated while with his other teams? I’m totally fine if the sense of urgency to win something​ meaningful kicks in now and he gives us a solid year.

  3. Cheese March 26, 2017

    Wow, Washington sounds like quite the mess..

    1. MJ March 26, 2017

      Everybody to the life boats!