Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah played the last game of his rookie contract on Sunday, and he picked a good time to show he can play at a high level.
Ansah, who is poised to become an unrestricted free agent in March, has been named NFC defensive player of the week after his three-sack performance in the Lions’ season finale against the Packers.
Ansah played the 2017 season under his fifth-year option of $12.7 million, and although he got off to a slow start, he had a very strong finish and was playing his best football down the stretch. That gives the Lions a tough decision about whether to franchise him, which would come with a price tag in the neighborhood of $17 million. If the Lions don’t franchise him, they risk losing him.
If Ansah does hit unrestricted free agency, he’ll be one of this year’s most sought-after prospects. He showed on Sunday that he can be a defensive force.