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Big-spending Colts sign DL Jean Francois, re-sign CB Butler

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The Indianapolis Colts re-signed cornerback Darius Butler to a two-year deal and agreed to terms of a four-year, $22 million deal with defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois.

Jean Francois is a versatile defensive lineman who suits a defense planning to blend elements of the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. The 26-year-old visited the Philadelphia Eagles and drew interest from the New Orleans Saints.

He played defensive end last season with the 49ers when Justin Smith was dealing with a shoulder injury but has played left end and nose tackle. At 295 pounds, he's undersized for a traditional "zero" technique role -- nose tackle -- in the 3-4 defense the Colts used as their base system last year.

Butler was a second-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2009. He played two seasons with the Patriots and 2011 with the Carolina Panthers and has seven career interceptions. He turns 27 on March 18.

"Darius is a talented football player that bought in from day one," said general manager Ryan Grigson. "His athleticism and especially his ball hawk ability were literally evident from his first day of practice. We were fortunate to acquire him when we did because he really provided a spark for us last season. He seized his opportunity and made plays that helped showcase those talents that we had always believed in. We are very happy to have him back with us and see him build off his promising first year as a Colt."

Butler originally signed with the Colts as a free agent on Sept. 25, 2012, and in 11 games (four starts) last year, led the team with a career-high four interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He finished tied for third on the team with seven passes defensed.
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