If you believed the Chicago Bears were done collecting depth on the defensive line after the reported signing of nose tackle John Jenkins on Friday, perhaps you should re-calibrate your expectations:
FA DT Ricky Jean-Francois just told me he's traveling Sat. for a visit w/t #Bears. He's scheduled to travel to Seattle Sun. evening for now.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 17, 2017
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that free agent defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois is traveling to Chicago for a visit with the Bears. It’s part of a weekend full of travel for Jean-Francois, who is also slated to visit Seattle on Sunday. In any case, the Bears are rightfully still looking to add depth and talent to a defensive line that lacked both things in 2016.
Jean-Francois is a defensive tackle who measures 6-foot-3, 295 pounds. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round (244th overall) in the 2009 draft, where he spent the first four years of his career, and crossed paths with current Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio when he served in that role with the 49ers.
Fangio, who was in San Francisco from 2011 to 2014, coached Jean-Francois in 2011 and 2012 before he signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts in 2013.
Jean-Francois spent the last two seasons playing for Washington, appearing in 32 games (eight starts) and contributing 3.5 sacks and 17 tackles. Pro Football Focus graded Jean-Francois (74.3) as the 45th best interior defender in 2016, a grade that would have put him second among qualifying Bears players.
Chicago had two regular contributors on the defensive line who graded out poorly by PFF’s standards with Mitch Unrein (51.8) and Jonathan Bullard (42.4). So if the Bears can find a player who can provide better play at the position, they should explore the opportunity — no matter how big or small.