Free-agent defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois this week will visit two teams – the 49ers and Washington – very familiar with him, according to a league source.
Jean Francois, who was released by Indianapolis this week, was a seventh-round pick by the 49ers in 2009. From 2009 to 2012, he played in 51 regular-season games with the 49ers, starting five, and had 49 tackles and a forced fumble.
Jean Francois, 28, is 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds. Like all 49ers defensive linemen, he practiced at both the defensive end position in the team’s 3-4 (three down linemen, four linebackers) scheme and at nose tackle. There was continuity among the front seven defenders from defensive coordinator Greg Manusky to Vic Fangio in 2011. And there is expected to be carryover as Eric Mangini takes over for Fangio this offseason.
The 49ers cut Ray McDonald, a longtime starter at defensive end, in December. And defensive end Justin Smith still is undecided if he will return for another season, but the 49ers are more optimistic now because Smith, 35, has been working out at the team facility in Santa Clara. Still, his status may not be decided for another week or so when coach Jim Tomsula and general manager Trent Baalke speak with Smith about his future.
The other defensive linemen on the 49ers’ roster are Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Kaleb Ramsey, Mike Purcell and Lawrence Okoye.
Washington’s interest in Jean Francois is tied to general manager Scot McCloughan, who drafted Jean Francois when he was the 49ers’ general manager. Philadelphia had interest in Jean Francois when he was a free agent two years ago.