Signed by the New York Giants on Wednesday, defensive tackle A.J. Francis provided a spark to the New York-Washington rivalry with an Instagram post that was more “good riddance” than “goodbye.”
Francis, 27, signed with the Giants on Wednesday and commemorated his transfer with an Instagram post that bid a not-so-fond farewell to his former employers.
In his caption, Francis, who was waived by the Redskins on Monday, acknowledges the Giants did their homework on him, and he may have a point. Having entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013, the Maryland alum saw his most regular season action to date with Washington, playing in a career-high six games.
In two games against the Giants, Francis had eight combined tackles, including six in the teams’ season finale at MetLife Stadium, an 18-10 Giants win. He previously spent time with Miami, New England, and Seattle before signing on with Washington in 2016.
The jovial Francis’ ensuing hashtags reference not only the Giants’ two dates with the Redskins in 2018 but also Washington’s controversial logo and nickname, which has drawn scrutiny for its use as a racial slur toward Native Americans.
Previous players to speak out against the name include Champ Bailey and Jason Taylor, each of whom spent part of their careers in Washington. Former Giants linebacker Harry Carson has likewise been a critic, as the Hall of Famer was one of many who signed a 2015 letter addressed to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, imploring him to change the name.
Francis, who tallied 88 tackles, 20.5 for a loss, in four years at Maryland, will first have to make the roster to get to the desired showdowns with Washington. He enters a crowded defensive tackle depth chart, one headlined by All-Pro Damon Harrison and last year’s second-round selection, Dalvin Tomlinson. Reserves Robert Thomas and Josh Banks likewise return from last season’s roster, while last weekend’s draft featured the arrivals of North Carolina State’s B.J. Hill and Miami’s RJ McIntosh, respectively taken in the third and fifth rounds.
First staged in 1932, Giants vs. Redskins has been one of oldest rivalries in football. Including playoffs, the Giants own a 100-68-4 advantage in the series and have won seven of the past 10 meetings. The 100 wins against Washington are the most the Giants have against an opposing team since the franchise was established in 1925.