Colts: Ricky Jean-Francois cut
When the Indianapolis Colts snapped up Ricky Jean-Francois in 2013, the hope was that the long term backup to Justin Smith and Ray McDonald would blossom out of the shadow of his more illustrious peers and into an every down monster. Two seasons later it’s safe to say that experiment didn’t quite work out, with the Ryan Grigson cutting ties with Jean-Francois halfway into a four year deal with $8m in guaranteed money.
“RFJ” leaves the Colts having neither enhanced nor worsened his reputation, rather setting a ceiling on the type of player he is in the NFL. He finished 26th out of all 3-4 defensive ends in our 2014 grading out of 47 (having been 23rd out of 45 in 2013) but struggled to generate the kind of pressure that would make him indispensable. His 22 quarterback disruptions on 368 pass rushes left him with a 4.7 Pass Rushing Productivity score, better than only 11 of his defensive end peers.
So not a bad player, but despite the interest in him two seasons ago, he’s not the difference maker many had hoped he could be. He can likely expect a colder market initially in free agency, but there’s a second wave of free agency that is perfect for decent players like him to latch on to a team needing some competition along the line.
As for the Colts, more cap room likely equals an even more aggressive approach to free agency, as they look to make it all the way to the Super Bowl this year. Given the lack of defensive line options currently on the roster, they may be primed to make a big move there.