AJ Francis is a defensive lineman with the Washington Redskins. He played his college football at the University of Maryland. During his five years there — which included a red-shirt season — Francis tallied 143 tackles, 9.5 sacks and four blocked kicks. Francis has also been a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.
Francis’ two best attributes as far as NFL talent evaluators are concerned are his size (6-foot-5, 309 pounds) and his versatility. During his career at Maryland, Francis played every position on the defensive line and operated out of a regular 4-3 alignment and a 3-4 as well. Several teams were interested in him as a tackle or an end, while others saw him as a potential nose guard, capable of occupying blockers and keeping the line jammed up so backs have no place to run.
As a senior at Maryland, Francis moved outside to the end position — where he’d never played before — and responded with a stellar season. He led the Terrapins with three recovered fumbles and three blocked kicks. He tied for second on the team with four sacks and was third with nine tackles for losses.
After going unselected in the 2013 NFL Draft, Francis signed with the Miami Dolphins on April 30, 2013. Nine NFL teams had reached out, offering the talented lineman free agent deals to come to their city, to play for their team. Caught in that bittersweet moment, between the sting of going undrafted and the thrill of deciding his future, the former Maryland defensive lineman picked the Miami Dolphins.
One hour after accepting Miami’s offer, Francis whipped out a ring and proposed to Tatiana Uruburo, his girlfriend for more than two years. She said yes and all the excitement was captured on Francis’ Twitter which was named to Sports Illustrated Twitter 100 for his humor and witty tweets.
Francis, a four-year starter in College Park who earned all-ACC honorable mention in 2012, spent this winter near South Beach, training at Bommarito Performance Systems, operating under a strict organic diet and grueling schedule with regular 6 a.m. wakeup calls. Signing with the Dolphins offered familiarity, both with the personnel and the surrounding area.
On November 16th, 2015, Francis was acquired off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks. On November 24, he was released by the team, but signed to the practice squad two days later. On November 30th, 2015, he chose to be promoted to the active roster in Seattle over resigning with the Dolphins to their active roster. On March 8, 2016 Francis signed his one-year exclusive-rights tender deal to return to Seattle.
On October 12th, 2016 Francis signed with the Washington Redskins. He was promoted to the active roster on November 29, 2016. He was waived on December 10, 2016 and was re-signed back to the practice squad. Francis signed a futures contract with the Redskins on January 2nd, 2017.
The featured cream shorts were worn in the bath tub after long days of practice by AJ Francis as a member of the Washington Redskins in 2016. The talented defensive tackle has signed the shorts and added “HTTR” in silver. (Hail To The Redskins) The shorts show good wear. Sweet!