The man known as RJF - USA TODAY Sports
The Eagles may look to free agency to help rebuild their defense. Could Jean-Francois be in their plans?
It's no secret by now that the Eagles are going to be switching their defensive scheme under Chip Kelly and new DC Bill "Or Is It Billy?" Davis. Gone are the days of Andy Reid's 4-3 scheme. It's not perfectly clear what defense the Eagles will run exactly yet, but it's thought to be closer to a version of the 3-4 or the 4-3 under.
It's only natural that the scheme change will bring some personnel change as well. Some players might not fit in the new scheme, and that creates holes in the roster that need to be addressed. Along with reasons regarding money and age, that's why Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson were recently cut from the roster. That's also where possible former 49ers 3-4 DE Ricky Jean-Francois (RJF) comes in.
According to a tweet from Ian Rapoport, the Eagles may be interested in RJF.
NFL insider Adam Caplan also mentioned the following which caught my attention:
I mentioned last week that 49ers DL Ricky Jean-Francois could have at least 5-6 teams on his trail if SF is unable to re-sign him.. Teams projected to run a 3-4/hybrids: Eagles, Browns, Colts, Packers, Chiefs, and a few others likely to have differing levels of interest.
So while there's no formal report on the Eagles interest in RJF (yet), it definitely seems like they could be targeting him.
Jean-Francois played only 27% of the 49ers defensive snaps in 2012 but played an important role as the primary backup for all DL spots. RJF grades out well by PFF as a run defender, but lacks in pass rush ability, which fits the profile of him an executive in NFL personnel stated according to JSonline.
"Solid in-line run defender," [...] "Average pass rusher. He'd add good 3-4 defensive end depth and potential base-down starter as a five-technique 'dirty work' player. I'd prefer him more in the rotation than as a (starter)."
RJF has played 3 seasons in the NFL after being drafted by the 49ers in the 7th round of the 2009 draft. He's 26 years old and is listed at 6-3 and 295 lbs. He has 49 tackles (33 solo), 3 sacks, and 1 forced fumble during limited playing time in his career.