Criticism from Ricky Jean-Francois may have contributed to his release

Getty Images

Washington abruptly dumped veteran defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois on Wednesday. The move immediately triggered suspicion that Jean-Francois has paid the price for being candid about his recent criticisms of the team.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Jean-Francois was surprised by the move. Indeed, he started every game for Washington last year, and he performed well.

Via Mike Jones of the Washington Post, the move had nothing to do with clearing cap space for a potential run at free-agent defensive linemen Jonathan Hankins or Dontari Poe.

Apart from some recent tweets that seemed to be generally critical of the team’s free-agent losses, Jean-Francois expressed doubt about the team during a recent visit with Sean Salisbury on SB Nation Radio.

“It seems like we’re getting back to the norm, we’re getting back to the dysfunctional, we’re getting back to the drama,” Jean-Francois said last Thursday, before the team fired G.M. Scot McCloughan. “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. . . . Everything is changed and it’s like, why? We let go of DeSean Jackson, one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL. We let go of Pierre Garςon — only had one drop last year. You let Chris Baker go, Chris Baker was one great pass rusher for us. . . .

“At the end of the day, it’s business. But it’s not the business that you want to see each and every other day at work when everything is going hectic and you just don’t know what’s going on, who’s making calls. Who’s what. It’s like as soon as you open the front of the newspaper you just see drama. And it feels like just at no given point we haven’t had that grace period that’s just, ‘All right, let’s not have drama. Let’s everything be happy, joyful. Let’s say we’re gonna make a run for the playoffs, Super Bowl, whatever.’ But it’s seems like that’s not the case, or it’s not the case at this moment.”

Jean-Francois also complained about the failure of the team to give quarterback Kirk Cousins a long-term deal, pointing to his success over the last two years and the team’s failure to reward him. Likewise, Jean-Francois expressed support for McCloughan.

“OK, I don’t understand why a guy like this didn’t go to the Combine,” Jean-Francois said. “This guy should have been there. 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.”

Asked whether the situation was bad enough to get Jean-Francois to want out, he said that wasn’t the case.

“I’d love to be playing for the Redskins,” Jean-Francois said. “It’s just right now it’s hectic. I know every organization in the NFL goes through this at least one time during the span of their franchise.”

For Washington, it seems like hectic has indeed been the rule, with calm the exception. And it feels like it’s going to take a while for things to calm down again.

The good news for one of the other 31 teams is that the current leadership is sufficiently thin-skinned to dump a valuable player who opted for honesty. So while the drama may not be leaving D.C., Jean-Francois is at least leaving the drama.

76 responses to “Criticism from Ricky Jean-Francois may have contributed to his release

  1. RJF has always talked too much for a middling player whose only been there a few years.

    That said, cutting him was more of a cap move than a punishment as Florio has suggested. I guess he’s trying to give air to the “everything is dysfunctional in Washington” narrative. That is obvious by him classifying RJF as a valuable player, which is a stretch for a backup.

  2. Actually, he was terrible vs the run. Situational pass rusher/pocket collapsed at best. – He was also a clown on the field. Would you rather have a war daddy, or a clown?

  3. If that’s how easy it is to get out of Washington, expect a lot more players to start criticizing the organization.

  4. Everything he said was true and he will be glad he got out of the dumpster fire that is Washington. The Packers should look into signing him for depth on the defensive line. He sounds hungry to play for a functional organization and win.

  5. He should feel blessed, he is no longer stuck on the Redskins who are headed for the bottom again and he gets to choose his next team.

    He can pick a contender and thrive, which is more than you can say about the Deadskins in 2017.

  6. Allen & Snyder are systematically destroying that franchise. Veterans probably needs to get out while they can, Jean-Francois has shown how to get free.

  7. Best of luck Ricky Jean! Love you being candid and real always. Another productive DL gone.. We don’t deserve nice things.

  8. Cutting him saves something like 4 million on the cap. He didn’t play enough snaps to justify that cap hit.

  9. in a previous article today the very same website that we are reading right now said he started seven games last year … let’s not all the sudden make this guy out to be JJ Watt OK? Just because he criticized the Redskins and you love when everyone does that doesn’t mean you should pretend he’s suddenly a huge and valuable piece of the organization…he was a rotational d-lineman, a journeyman who’s been in DC 2 seasons. It wasn’t big news when he got cut, but it’s big news that he badmouthed the team.

  10. Big props to Ricky! Just took a few words of truth and Lil Danny and bis minion Bruce “Harvest Feast” Allen get their panties all in a bunch and release him.

    Sweet, sweet freedom! Good luck in a real NFL organization!

    Getting out of DC? Now, that’s what you call “winning off the field”!

  11. Listen… I am a Redskins fan as disappointed with this team as anyone. I really like Ricky Jean-Francois and what he has to say. I’m also not inclined to give this organization any benefit of the doubt.

    But come on… He was a 30 year old backup with a $4M cap figure. He had 1.5 sacks last season. I heard speculation he could be cut (along with DeAngelo Hall) beginning at the end of the season. Really strong locker room leader, solid rotational guy, but this was an expected move for a guy in his situation.

  12. Lmao, the circus show just gets better and better.
    Its so beyond dumpster fire, its like a mid air jet collision that smashes into a freight train, that collides with semi truck crossing the tracks, that simultaneously sets a dumpster on fire.

    Seriously, you’re so thinned skinned that you cut (not trade?!) a player that was overly critical of you?

    No wonder Skins have tonpay C+/B- players at A level.

  13. He didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. I bet the majority of the locker room feels that way. He should be happy he is free of that perpetual dumpster fire. Go play for an organization that is stable.

  14. He performed well? The defense was terrible especially the defensive lineman. He was expensive and believe gave them $3 million in cap space to cut him. Not a big deal… They didn’t let any of those players go they were free agents and signed elsewhere for more money then what the skins offered.

  15. I love freaky jean but he’s over 30 now and was just a guy since we signed him. Good guy, average player who’s in the wrong side of 30. All the free agents gone or not re-signed this offseason are over 30, hey genius… that’s your clue

  16. “Criticism from Ricky Jean-Francois may have contributed to his release”

    Gosh, d’ya think?

  17. More incompetence by the Redskins. There are ways to deal with this kind of thing in-house. So let’s keep track of their off-season moves:
    – let DeSean Jackson go
    – let Pierre Garcon go
    – let Chris Baker go
    that’s their top 2 WRs and their best D-lineman
    – re-signed aging Vernon Davis
    – doubled up on franchising QB Kirk Cousins
    – fired GM Scot McCloughan
    and now
    – released Ricky-Jean Francois

    Bruce Allen has made sure he’s in control. So he owns this mess.

  18. Cousins would be smart to take a page from this dudes book (just chill with the quadruple negatives).

    As an aside, would love for the Giants to pick him up. With Pierre Paul, Olivier and jean-Francois, we’d have the French connection DL.

  19. Those comments weren’t harsh enough to be let go. But he’s old enough to be let go. The team is trying to get a little younger on the D-line and he was an older vet. Just wait and see what they do in the draft. He could be back at a lower cap number.

  20. Seriously how does this dumpster fire continue to get fuel for said fire aka free agent.players? It sucks to be released im sure but if they release you for being honest youre better off not being there. Especially considering you didnt really say anything THAT bad. I mean the cousins thing is a strange situation. I mean seriously a backup qb can come in to relieve the starter and have a good run of couple of games (hoyer..foles..barkley..etc) or one really good game (matt flynn) and become the qb de jour that gets a rich contract for several years. Then you got cousins in washington who had a good year then on a “prove it” franchise tag had another good year and washington being washington THEY STILL REFUSE TO LOCK HIM UP!!!! SMH its ashame this once proud franchise is such a mess only maybe 1 rung up on the ladder above the browns but the browns maybe getting it together finally.

  21. I just want to know why. Everybody screams I know my rights. Then they spew them. Why doesn’t any yell I know my responsibilities? Why? You HAVE a responsibility to keep this internal.

  22. Good for him! At least someone has the balls to speak up about the dumpster fire on Snyder’s team. He’ll go somewhere else and do just fine and now Washington has another hole to fill…..

  23. RJF- Maybe it has something to do with the fact you just weren’t very good.
    If you were as entertaining off the field as you were on it, you might still have a job.
    BTW, you’re not the GM, I think………….

  24. Great insight. And by releasing him, Synder both (a) weakened his own team and (b) confirmed the truth of Ricky’s statements. He should have been made captain, not cut. Another team’s windfall.

  25. I would love to see the AZ Cardinals swoop him up!!! Adding another veteran DE who can provide invaluable veteran leadership for AZs young DEs like 6″5/305 DE Rodney Gunter & 6″4/297 Robert Nkimdiche, both young players, both are going to be absolute terrors next year. Ricky Jean-Francois is also an excellent run blocker and decent pass rusher, and would come cheap at around 2.5-3.0M per season!!!! Someone is going to get a great leader. Sometime great leaders leadership is worth what they make per season alone as they are the glue that holds great teams together thru the tuff times.

  26. Nice to see someone who has a spine and doesn’t mind risking a paycheck to speak their mind…Snyder has screwed this up too long, DC deserves better!!

  27. And he is not wrong. Since the late 90’s there are teams that are considered monumental jokes for the way the franchises are ran and among them Washington is often thought of as the worst next to only Cleveland and much of it has to do with Snyder himself. The man is a horrible owner, he is more destructive then Al Davis, more erratic then Jim Irsay and more controlling then Jerry Jones. Each of them have flaws, but Snyder…dear God, the man is a walking business travesty.

    And worse, like the Browns the Redskins are a storied franchise. I’ve long wondered if maybe the league should step in and force the owner to sell, but it’s rare that, that happens. And if one player of note and the media feel this way, you have to believe a number others in the front office and on the roster do as well.

  28. Last I checked our D-Line was horrible last year… He was a part of it, even though it was a small part because he wasn’t on the field that much… We’ll take the cap savings of 3 million dollars… thank you very much.

  29. 45 year washington fan here and he should thank his lucky stars that he’s out of that place. The team is a portrait of it’s leadership and therefore is a disgrace to the city of Washington, DC, the dedicated fans and the NFL. I’ve finally come to the realization that they don’t care about their fans or how the team is run. Dan Snyder just keeps getting richer by the day and at the end that’s all that matters to him. The fans are just what he uses to get there.

  30. He won’t be unemployed long. But Little Danny and Insecure Georgie will have the pleasure of knowing they showed him who’s boss.

  31. judalation you’re correct…..no argument there. But the glowing praise of the guy in the article is a bit hollow, let’d be honest. He just gets it because he’s following the narrative the writer wants to follow

  32. If they are willing to fire Scottie Mac for disagreeing with Allen in the course of doing his job, what chance does a veteran player have?

  33. He’s better off out of there. He’ll find work, and hopefully in a better-run organization.

  34. even their players don’t want to play for that weasel owner…….skins will never win a SB with that owner running the show. every year it is drama drama drama……only team in the nfl like that.

    on the other hand my boys are positioned to make a run at a couple of SB’s over the next 5 years. reminds me of the 90’s as we are stacked.

  35. the Patriots don’t have this issue…..come sign a team friendly contract and win…but for the record…..and not every organization goes through what the Redskins have gone through for the last 20 years………

  36. I’ve been a fan of the team for over 35 years now, since we moved to DC in middle school. I’m ready to give up on this team and its dysfunctional, embarrassing ways of doing business.

  37. RJF was looking like a sensible cap cut long before the McCloughan story hit the media.

    He’s been a rotational player, at a back-up level on a poor D-line. This article makes him sound like a viable starter, but he’s long past his best.

    Everyone who actually knows anything about the Redskins d-line play over the last few years knows that RJF’s play was part of the problem, and that we need to get younger through the draft.

    The beat writers loved RJF though, because he gave them lots of time. It wasn’t because of his play. Also this notion of being a strong locker room guy, some liked him, others were tired of his schtick.

    So, an aging, back-up whose sole remaining qualification was that he played on a good defense years ago and can easily be replaced by someone on a vet minimum contract, got cut. That’s not dysfunction. That’s how good franchises operate.

Leave a Reply