WASHINGTON – The Redskins made a handful of roster moves on Wednesday by re-signing defensive end Ziggy Hood and offensive tackle Vinston Painter and releasing defensive end Ricky Jean Francois.
Hood gets a two-year contract, according to a source with knowledge of the contract. Painter was an exclusive-rights free agent who signed his tender. Francois’s departure saves $3 million against the 2017 salary cap.
Hood, 30, was signed in January, 2016, but the 2009 first-round draft pick made a hard push for a roster spot during training camp and started 14 games for Washington. Advanced stats didn’t paint Hood’s season in a good light, but he had 23 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack.
The defensive line has been revamped for the second year in a row. In 2015, the Redskins used only seven players in that unit all year: Francois, Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Stephen Paea and Frank Kearse.
Only Golston remains. Hatcher retired after last season. Knighton and Kearse departed via free agency to New England, but neither played a game last season. Paea was cut late in training camp and played 13 games for Cleveland in 2016. Baker just signed with Tampa Bay last week as a free agent. Even Golston’s status is unclear. He is a free agent, too, and missed the final 14 games of last season after a calf injury.
Francois, 30, was an outspoken member of the team. He often had pointed words for coaches, teammates, management or reporters. Blunt and honest to a fault, he was also almost always available to talk after a game win or lose. Francois was the first prominent free-agent signing under former GM Scot McCloughan in 2015. He previously played in Indianapolis and San Francisco.
The defensive line makeover continues. Washington signed free agents Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee last week. Second-year pros Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier look to make a leap forward in 2017. Hood is a veteran holdover.
In training camp, the Redskins will let A.J. Francis, Joey Mbu and Phil Taylor compete for a roster spot, too. It’s almost certain that Washington will target at least one defensive lineman in the draft, too, to ensure that unit continues to get younger.
Painter, 27, was picked up on waivers during training camp and ended up starting one game for the Redskins and playing in five. He was a sixth-round pick in 2013 by Denver after playing college football at Virginia Tech.
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