Packers Apparently Look to Indoor League for Linebacker Help

The Packers have reportedly signed Josh Francis of the Wichita Falls Nighthawks.

In the aftermath of releasing linebackers Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk in the past week, the Green Bay Packers have apparently gone to the ranks of the Indoor Football League for help at the linebacker position.

The Wichita Falls Nighthawks have indicated that linebacker Josh Francis has signed with the Packers, according to the team's Facebook page:

 

No such move has been confirmed by the Packers or the league's transaction wire at the time of publication.

A junior college transfer, Francis played his final two years of eligibility at West Virginia where he made 57 tackles, 15 for a loss and 4.5 sacks as a senior in 2012 on his way to being named honorable mention All-Big 12.

Francis measured in at 5' 11 3/4" and 228 lbs. at his pro day workout in 2013, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

Among the inside linebackers under contract for 2015, Francis will join Sam Barrington, Carl Bradford and Joe Thomas at the position.

With offseason rosters expanded to 90 players, the Packers are clearly giving Francis a look to see what he can offer. There's no guarantee he'll make the regular season 53-man roster and as an unproven indoor league player, it's very likely he's being given a contract with little or no guaranteed money.

KAUZ channel 6 in Texas aired a recent report on Francis:

The Nighthawks also posted this highlight of Francis on their Facebook page:

 
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Comments (15)

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

February 26, 2015 at 11:12 am

Mostly played as an overhang defender in college and not much inside but definitely has the speed and explosion needed on the inside. He knocks guys backward. He has good instincts. Interesting pick-up.

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Evan's picture

February 26, 2015 at 11:27 am

4.68 40.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

February 26, 2015 at 05:05 pm

What were the 10 and 20?

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4thand1's picture

February 26, 2015 at 03:55 pm

I think we'll see about 15-20 ILBers on the 90 man squad. None of them will pan out and the Pack will resign Hawk,lmao.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

February 28, 2015 at 07:44 am

Lol, damn you!

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Allan Murphy's picture

February 26, 2015 at 04:50 pm

Wow that guy lays the wood smh !

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Jamie24's picture

February 27, 2015 at 05:36 am

This looks like a nice little pickup. His WVU film looks like a lot of the ILB in this draft, so if nothing else, it's just one more crack at trying to solve the ILB puzzle.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 27, 2015 at 07:32 am

Lets keep our hopes low for him to start. He can hit, has good speed. Looks like a good special teams player to start. We could use a few good special teams players.

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egbertsouse's picture

February 27, 2015 at 09:01 am

Just Tightwad Ted looking for bargains at K-mart. He'll get about 7 of these league minimum guys looking for a diamond in the dirt pile.

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4thand1's picture

February 27, 2015 at 10:59 am

I suggest you study the salary cap era.

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Packer_Pete's picture

February 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

and if he gets one out of those 7 then it's all worth it. I'm sure on your team, you'd have all ex 1st round draft picks who'd all 53 go to the pro bowl.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 27, 2015 at 12:40 pm

7 of them? Try more like 25-30. Just like every other team in the NFL.

Offseason rosters expand to 90 up from 53 in the regular season. Nobody uses all 90 spots on solid, established veterans with no question marks. For one, the cap would not allow it. For two, finding a hidden gem is the NFL equivalent of hitting $1000 scratch off lottery ticket. 4 years of guaranteed low salary for a productive player is NFL gold.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 27, 2015 at 05:21 pm

Absolutely Hank. This is a theme that I have commented on many times. TT's failure to get good play from his draft selections in '11 and '12 and injuries to other top picks hurt GB, but was more than offset by getting a UDFA in Shields and Williams, and several others. Bakhtiari and Linsley are huge boosts to the cap, and allow TT to divert cap space to other areas.

Draft and develop is the way to go, but one must bear in mind that its utility is impaired if it take 3 or 4 years before that development shows up on the field.

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NickPerry's picture

February 28, 2015 at 09:49 am

Exactly, hopefully Ted saw the value in adding a few FA last year and try again this year. When you stick solely to draft and develop it seems like we're one area away each year. 3 years ago RB, 2 years ago Safety, last year ILB. Ted's did a excellent job with the last 2 drafts IMO, now just a piece here and there, a veteran here or there, and keeping our own like Cobb, Bulaga, and we're there.

Excellent point too about where he found Lindsey, Bakhtiari and others. Others like Daniels and Hyde, these guys are all 4th and 5th round picks. Doesn't matter where you find the gold as long as you find it.

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4thand1's picture

February 28, 2015 at 09:50 am

Just get someone to make some impact plays, like Peppers did. Peppers would kinda disappear for a while and, "BAM" a sack, forced fumble, or int. It was great, the Murry forced fumble won the game most likely.

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