NFL free agency is two weeks away, and we have a couple moves of note. The Indianapolis Colts announced the release of Ricky Jean-Francois, and DeAngelo Williams told a Charlotte new station the Carolins Panthers release him. Here is what Williams said:
"We sat down and he told me 'The fact of the matter is we're going to have to release you'," Williams told Molly Grantham during a sit down conversation. "I said you know, 'Why?' and he said, 'because we don't run the ball enough. Just like you said back before the season started, we don't run the ball enough to keep you and both [Jonathan Stewart], so we're going to release you'."
The San Francisco 49ers have their own running back situation to figure out, with Frank Gore hitting free agency next month. There have been reports Gore is hoping to get $4 million per year in any new deal, but as an aging running back, the odds of that seem a little bit difficult. Well, assuming it is not incentive-laden or structured in some similar fashion.
Over the weekend, Jason Cole said he was hearing the 49ers might speak with Ryan Mathews if Gore were to depart. Mathews is a talented running back who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. DeAngelo Williams is also talented and injury prone. Of course, he's also 32, while Mathews is "only" 27. If the 49ers move forward with Hyde, maybe Williams is a guy they bring in fairly cheaply as a backup with game-day roster bonuses. It's just one more name out there.
RJF is 28, and never quite settled in with the Colts. He certainly was not a bad pick-up, but there was some inconsistency. I'd say he did more than Aubrayo Franklin did upon departure from the 49ers, but it is interesting to see defensive linemen struggle when they leave the 49ers. Now that Jim Tomsula is the head coach and the 49ers defensive line has some question marks, it will be interesting to see if the 49ers give PBJ time a call.
Both players are immediately free agents, which means they can visit teams and sign before March 10.