Lions face a difficult decision about whether to franchise Ziggy Ansah

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The Lions have a hard decision to make on defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Detroit has not used the franchise tag since 2012 with Cliff Avril, but it’s possible the Lions use it this year on Ansah, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

A $17.5 million commitment to Ansah is a lot of money, especially for a defensive end who had 14 sacks combined the past two seasons.

But as Birkett noted, only seven NFL players had more than Ansah’s 12 sacks last season, and Ansah’s 12 sacks came in 14 games. The Lions also don’t have anybody to replace Ansah if he leaves.

Kerry Hyder is rehabbing from a torn Achilles, and Anthony Zettel is “not a prototype right end.”

Ansah also turns 29 in May and has injuries the past two seasons that could give the team pause.

So, do they or don’t they? The Lions let defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh leave in free agency in 2015, and they have a new head coach in Matt Patricia.

The only thing certain is they have a two-week window beginning Tuesday to decide.

10 responses to “Lions face a difficult decision about whether to franchise Ziggy Ansah

  1. Bye, bye Ziggy. Wish you could have stayed healthy, but for the money you will get, let another team take the big gamble.

  2. I don’t believe the official age that he uses – people from his country are well known for using a different age for a variety of reasons. I believe he is actually 5 years older, but it will be too difficult to explain how I came to this conclusion. Buyer be ware…

  3. If you have money under the cap, this is the exact reason the franchise tag exists. If they don’t tag him someone is going to give him big bucks.

  4. Edger rushers don’t grow on trees, and the FA crop this year is weak, so either they sign him or hope to draft a DE. If the Lions have cap room, why not? It’s not like there are a bunch of other Lions pro bowlers lined up for big paydays this year are there?

  5. Yes, he had 12 sacks in 2017. But 9 of them came in three games, and he was a ghost the rest of the year. And in 2016, he had 2 sacks, until he got another 2 in the wild card loss.

  6. I love the guy, and I especially love how many people were doubters when he was drafted —
    called him a waste of a pick. That’s a lot of money to commit to someone who plays an injury-prone position and is having injury trouble.

    The thing that would make the most sense is to sit him for all of next season, which is a throw-away season anyway (new coach and a lot of holes to fill). But the NFL like the stock market – forget about long term planning, raise share value today/win today.

    If the Lions turn him loose (and they probably should), you can bet Jim Schwartz will want him. Likewise, it wouldn’t surprise me if Suh would try to convince Ziggy to go to Miami.

    Ziggy is a class act and has strong academic credentials too. I’m guessing he hasn’t been throwing away his money. Maybe he should walk away while he can still walk.

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