The San Francisco 49ers still want to re-sign promising 26-year-old defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois, but it won’t be easy for the Niners to retain the man who provided some key pass rushing down the stretch. The Green Bay Packers are already expressing interest in the defensive tackle, and the always-reliable Ian Rappoport replied to Packers beat writer Bob McGinn on Twitter saying that the Philadelphia Eagles could be interested in Jean-Francois, “Watch the Eagles on Ricky Jean-Francois, too. May have some competition.”
The Eagles recently released two quality interior pass rushers in Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins, so the Eagles showing interest in Ricky Jean-Francois does make sense. The former LSU product is expected to receive interest from more teams, and while Rappoport’s comment was more off-hand, it does make sense and serves to show that Jean-Francois is a desirable commodity.
It also serves to show that the 49ers might not be able to see the development of their young DL all the way through. Last season, he showed some real prowess against the run and that’s actually his strong suit. He did show potential as a pass rusher as well with two sacks last season that came at the end of the year, but he still needs to show more consistency in that regard.
Jean-Francois has the versatility to play everywhere on the defensive line and is also scheme-versatile, and the fact that Jerel Worthy’s knee injury has cast his availability in 2013 in doubt makes him a logical choice for the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers were once expected to let him walk, but then Adam Caplan tweeted that the Niners were interested in locking him up.
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