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Did Washington release Ricky Jean-Francois because he criticized the organization?

It’s a mess in Washington, and one has to wonder about the latest release.

Washington had a bit of a surprising transaction on Wednesday, as the team released defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois . The former 49er was entering his final season with the team, having signed a three-year, $9 million deal in 2015. He was due $2.75 million, and had a cap hit of $4 million.

The team has cap space to work with, and are potentially pursuing Dontari Poe and/or Johnathan Hankins. However, even if they did want to clear room, one beat writer has heard the move had nothing to do with wanting to clear space. And Pro Football Talk is reporting that RJF was surprised by the decision.

The one-time 49ers defensive tackle has been critical of the team since the start of free agency. He seemed surprised on Twitter by some of the issues, and then brought up the dysfunction during an interview with SB Nation Radio. It involved him talking about the team’s offseason losses, but also the issues surrounding Scot McCloughan and Kirk Cousins.

RJF has been a solid presence for Washington, but not so dominant as to make him indispensable. Given the egos involved and how the power seems to have shifted with the front office, would it really be all that surprising if Bruce Allen released him because of this kind of nonsense?

The 49ers have been connected to some of the free agent defensive linemen, but nothing has come to fruition in the weeks since they signed Earl Mitchell. Maybe they kick the tires on an old friend?