The Lions are unlikely to use the franchise tag on Ezekiel Ansah, but GM Bob Quinn won’t rule out a return. When asked about the possibility recently, Quinn seemed to leave the door open to a new deal at a lower price.
“Part of that is the medical,” Quinn said after the season (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “Part of that is the, ‘How long is he going to be out? What do we think when he gets recovered? Is he going to be the same?’ So all these things kind of factor in, so I don’t have an answer today. I’ll say this about Ziggy. Ziggy fought through some things this year. Ziggy’s extremely, extremely tough and I’m proud of him being a Detroit Lion because he, like Matthew Stafford, he played through some things that a lot of guys wouldn’t and I appreciate that.”
Ansah would make $20.57MM if he were tagged for a second straight year. There’s no realistic chance of that happening Ansah missed 9 games and finished out with just four sacks.
Ansah has suffered two serious shoulder injuries in his six seasons with Detroit and was pretty much a non-factor for the Lions’ listless defense last year. However, he’s flashed in the past. In 2015, he recorded a career high 14.5 sacks en route to his first career Pro Bowl selection. In 2017, he has 12 sacks across 14 games.
In theory, an incentive-laden one-year deal could make sense for both parties. However, his spotty history could give the Lions pause, and Ansah’s camp may prefer to roll the dice on the open market where teams pay a premium for accomplished pass rushers.
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