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Lions sign free agents DT Ricky Jean Francois and LB Darnell Sankey

Allen Park, Mich. – The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed free agents DT Ricky Jean Francois and LB Darnell Sankey. Contract terms were not disclosed.

In addition, the Lions also announced that they have waived LB Al-Rasheed Benton and OL Beau Nunn, and have placed LB Devon Kennard and DE Cornelius Washington on Active-Non Football Injury.

Jean Francois, who split 12 games with the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots last year, joins the Lions for his 10th NFL season. He finished the 2017 season by playing in six games (one start) with the Patriots en route to the team's appearance in Super Bowl LII. In the postseason, he appeared in all three games for New England and totaled six tackles (four solo) and 1.0 sacks.

Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round (244th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft out of LSU, Jean Francois has played in 121 career games (36 starts) and 14 postseason games (three starts). His career regular season totals include 164 total tackles (97 solo), 12.0 sacks, 11 pass defenses, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Sankey comes to Detroit after appearing in six games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017, before ending last season as a member of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. He originally entered the NFL in 2016 with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Sacramento State..