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Ricky Jean is Gone!

March 15, 2017
The Redskins made a couple of roster moves Wednesday night but of course only one will be talked about and highlighted in the national media.

Washington re-signed versatile defensive lineman Ziggy Hood and also officially brought back Vinston Painter, an exclusive rights free agent offensive lineman. 

The other big move could have something to do with football but probably has much more to do with politics and ego.

Oh and criticism too.

Ricky Jean Francois was released by the Skins on Thursday night. He was entering the final year of his contract and was a Scot McCloughan guy true and true.

Last week, on the Sean Salisbury show on SB Nation Radio he vented and expressed frustration with the leadership and the direction of the franchise. Who hasn’t?

The problem is that while many players feel the same, they have a mute button and aren’t honest and open like Ricky was and is.

In a week where the Redskins acted like they were running romper room more than they were running a professional football organization, Jean Francois was honest about the chaos.

“It seems like we’re getting back to the norm, we’re getting back to the dysfunctional, we’re getting back to the drama,” he said via (PFT), during the interview.

This was before the Redskins fired Scot McCloughan that same night.  Jean Francois had only been here for two years so the only real dysfunction he knows is from his first four months here when you had the Robert Griffin III never ending fiasco of that summer and training camp, along with McCloughan being accused by his wife of having an affair with a reporter in exchange for information.

You know – nothing ever happens around here.

Jean Francois continued: “It just feels like at no given time we’ve never had that period where we were just comfortable with everything and everything was just running smooth,” he told Salisbury.

In what may have been the ‘icing on the cake’ quote, Jean Francois said “you just don’t know what’s going on, who’s making calls. Who’s what.”

Or perhaps it was this on McCloughan: Via PFT, “This guy (McCloughan) should have been there (at the scouting combine). This guy’s not making those free-agent moves. He’s not making those decisions that you know Scot McCloughan is known for making. All I gotta say at the end of the day is check his resume, because he has some Super Bowl rings.”

Ahhh… you might remember what we wrote late last week about McCloughan’s wife flashing his Super Bowl rings on twitter, which upset the Redskins to a point where I was told that was pretty much the final straw.

Perhaps the Redskins didn’t like this part? Who knows what goes through their sadistic mind? Clearly, the former LSU product did not subscribe to the DeAngelo Hall school of thinking.

Maybe it had nothing to do with what Ricky said in this particular interview and that level of criticism.

He seemed to have an interest in working with new Redskins defensive line coach, Jim Tomsula who he worked with at the 49ers.

However, I do remember seeing something on his twitter (I could not locate it) that was not exactly supportive of new Redskins defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky.

I couldn’t find the tweet, so perhaps it was scrubbed, but it wasn’t a good look for the new defensive boss, if that’s who Jean Francois was talking about and that is the belief.

Maybe it was a combination of both of these incidents. As we wrote last week, the Redskins did not like in any way that their now former general manager, McCloughan, was talking to the media.

This is an organization that still, to this day, threatens their employees with their job security if they help the media out in an off-the-record capacity.

Trust me – this is a 100% fact – and everyone at the top of the football operations department knows this and fears this. It still happens. I ( and others) know this from first-hand experience.

Or perhaps this has something to do with football? This is the least likely of the possible scenarios, even though it could have played a part. The Redskins did sign two new defensive linemen last week in Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. 

I didn’t think Jean Francois was the same player in 2016 as he was in 2015 when I thought he made a significant impact. Maybe, others would disagree but I don’t think I am wrong. (PFF) graded the former Redskin at a 74.3 overall (out of 100) in 2016 after a 77.0 in 2015. Not a huge drop-off but there was some in their eyes.

Jean Francois has been nothing but consistent in his career, per PFF’s same grading system. Since 2010, he’s been graded between a 78.3 as a high and a 72.9 as a low.

He was the 45 th highest defensive interior lineman in the NFL in 2016, per PFF, ranking behind Stephen Paea, who was released by the Redskins before the season started.

The bottom-line is this: Ricky Jean Francois wasn’t destructive enough or crucial enough to pop his mouth off and get away with it.

That doesn’t mean he was wrong for saying what he said. He’s right to a large degree. If he was indispensable (Josh Norman, Ryan Kerrigan) he would still be here. He wasn’t and he’s not.  

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for six seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for the last five. He covers the Redskins for Monumental Network (,, & Warpath Magazine. Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN