Ricky Jean Francois has decided to join his former general manager not his former team.
The free-agent defensive linemen, who was scheduled to meet with the 49ers this week, instead agreed on a three-year deal with Washington, the first team he visited. Washington has a bigger need on defense than the 49ers and Seahawks, who also were interested in Jean Francois, and they likely could pay him more because of that. The Saints also were interested.
Washington’s new general manager is Scot McCloughan, who had the same role in San Francisco in 2009 when the 49ers used a seventh-round pick on Jean Francois out of LSU. In 2013 he signed a free-agent deal with the Colts. Indianapolis, however, released him earlier this week.
The 49ers are awaiting word on whether defensive end Justin Smith will return for a 15th season. Jean Francois once was Smith’s top back-up.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.