Ricky Jean Francois signing both economical and beneficial for Packers

Former Redskins defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois signed a one-year contract with the Packers worth $2 million. Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

Ricky Jean Francois could be just the kind of addition the Green Bay Packers need on defense.

And if the veteran lineman isn't, well it won't end up costing them too much.

The one-year contract he signed last week shortly after the Washington Redskins released him is worth just $2 million, making it an economical addition to an area of the defense that was perhaps just one player away from being stocked for the 2017 season. And because the 30 year old was released by his old team and therefore isn't a true unrestricted free agent, he won't count against the Packers in the 2108 compensatory draft pick allocations.

It could allow general manager Ted Thompson to focus on three other key areas of need on that side of the ball: another pass-rusher from the outside linebacker spot, a shutdown cornerback and perhaps another inside linebacker.

"I think it's all coupled together, but we feel pretty good about what we've done," Packers general manager Ted Thompson told reporters at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix. "The defensive guys seem to be OK."

Jean Francois joins a defensive line group that includes standout Mike Daniels plus up-and-comers Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry. Both Clark and Lowry became significant contributors in the second half of their rookie seasons last year. The Packers also have Brian Price, who was on the roster briefly last season but spent most of the year on the practice, plus Christian Ringo and veteran Letroy Guion.

The Packers restructured Guion's deal so that they don't have to make a decision on his status until after he serves his suspension, and Thompson gave no indication they're planning to cut ties with him.

"I think you have to deal with those things on an individual basis," Thompson said. "In Letroy's case, that'll work itself out."

Perhaps the Packers would not have signed Jean Francois if Guion wasn't suspended for the first four games of the season, but his addition means Thompson shouldn't have to use a high draft pick on a defensive lineman.

Here's a breakdown of the Jean Francois' one-year deal with the Packers:

  • Cash value: $2 million

  • Salary-cap charge: $2 million

  • Signing bonus: $250,000

  • Weekly roster bonus: Up to $400,000 ($25,000 per game active)

  • Workout bonus: $100,000

  • Base salary: $1.25 million