Packers sign former West Virginia LB Josh Francis

By: Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel

Change continues at inside linebacker where the Green Bay Packers announced Thursday they’ve signed Josh Francis. The 6-foot, 238-pound played two seasons at West Virginia before moving on to the Canadian Football League and Indoor Football League.

Francis spent the 2014 season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL and then began this 2015 season with the Wichita Falls Nighthawks of the IFL. He started 13 of 21 games played for the Mountaineers, leading the team with 15 tackles for loss in 2012. That season, he finished with 57 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

After releasing former starters A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, the Packers sought some depth before the start of free agency next week. The team now has Sam Barrington and Carl Bradford under contract, Clay Matthews as an inside/outside option, and Jamari Lattimore hitting unrestricted free agency.

The Packers are expected to add to the position more through free agency and/or the NFL draft.

Since finishing his collegiate career, Francis has not played in the NFL. The Nighthawks play in the same indoor league as the Green Bay Blizzard, who once supplied the Packers linebacker Maurice Simpkins for a short time the 2010 season. Promoted from the practice squad, Simpkins appeared in two games.

At West Virginia’s 2013 pro day following his senior year, Francis recorded a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash, 25 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds, a 34.5-inch vertical leap and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.29 seconds.

This post originally appeared on Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Copyright 2015.

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