Lions add ex-Patriots DT Ricky Jean Francois

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Ricky Jean Francois

Allen Park – After some flirtation earlier this offseason, the Detroit Lions have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, a source familiar with the negotiation conformed Tuesday.

An eight-year veteran, the 6-foot-3, 313-pound Jean Francois appeared in a combined 12 games for two franchises last season. He finished the season with the New England Patriots, where he played for new Lions coach Matt Patricia, then serving as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator.

Jean Francois recorded 10 tackles in six games with the Patriots and added four more stops, including a sack, in the team’s three postseason games.

More: Lions' defensive success hinges on quick mastery of Patricia's scheme

The Lions and Jean Francois have been in communication throughout the offseason. There had been a report that the two sides had agreed to a deal in March, but the defensive lineman took to Twitter to debunk the report.

The signing adds depth to a young defensive tackle rotation that includes A’Shawn Robinson, Jeremiah Ledbetter, Da’Shawn Hand and Sylvester Williams.