Yesterday we heard that the Green Bay Packers are reportedly looking to pursue 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois. There have been some reports that a small market could develop for RJF, and we are starting to get some hints about other potential destinations. On Tuesday afternoon, Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Eagles might be a team to look at as potential competition for RJF.
There are conflicting reports about the 49ers plans with RJF, and things could get a little more complicated in the days leading up to the start of free agency. For the first time, the NFL has included three days leading up to the start of free agency for teams to officially begin negotiating with other teams' free agents. Previously it was against the rules to talk to anybody to start talking to other free agents before the start of the league year. Nobody actually followed that rule, but the rule did exist.
This three day period will lead up to a sort of "National Signing Day" type of deal for the NFL, which means even more coverage of the sport. That also means the rumors will be flying fast and furious from March 9 to 11. For Ricky Jean, his small market of interest could develop rather quickly.
We all know about RJF's versatility. Given his ability to play inside and outside on the line, 3-4 and various hybrid defenses might take interest in the 49ers defensive lineman:
As we know, the 49ers are not one to over-pay when they have figured out their value on a given player. While I love RJF's versatility, I have a hunch this market goes a little higher than the 49ers are comfortable going.
It is possible I am overestimating the market, but a player with his versatility strikes me as something that could move the market a little bit higher than than normal. That's just my hunch for now. I suppose he might be intent on sticking in the Bay Area, but we won't know for sure until the signing action starts happening.