When it comes to negotiating a contract extension, the focus this offseason has been on Matthew Stafford. The Detroit Lions’ franchise quarterback is currently scheduled to become a free agent in 2018 and is costing Detroit a whopping $22 million against the cap this season. By coming to an agreement on a contract extension with Stafford, the Lions would secure the rights to their quarterback for the foreseeable future, while also potentially creating some cap room for this season that could be rolled over into next.
But Stafford isn’t the only Lions player that could benefit from a contract extension this offseason. 2013 first-round pick Ezekiel Ansah is also lined up to be a free agent in 2018. While the star defensive end hasn’t quite had the NFL career that many were expecting after a quick start, considering Detroit’s current set of defensive linemen, Ansah sticks out as an important piece of the puzzle this season and next.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
When should the Detroit Lions address Ezekiel Ansah’s contract situation?
My answer: It’s almost always better to get contract deals done earlier rather than later. Not only does that prevent a player from hitting free agency, but with the salary cap constantly on the rise, the price for players increases every year.
However, in this case, the Lions can afford to wait. Ansah’s future with the Lions is still up in the air. Last year, Ansah struggled with injuries and, as a result, was not very effective all season. Next season, he will already be 29 years old, so it stands to reason that his next contract could very well be his last in the NFL.
And if the Lions are afraid of losing him to free agency, they still have the ability to franchise tag Ansah for the 2018 season. Though that option will be costly—the franchise tag number for defensive ends in 2017 was $16.9 million—it gives Detroit the option to hold onto Ansah while not committing to him long term on a hefty contract.
One downside to waiting for next year is if Ansah returns to form in 2017. Right now, the Lions could potentially negotiate a favorable contract considering Ansah is coming off a hugely disappointing season. If Ansah were to get double-digit sacks in 2017, his value next offseason would skyrocket, and Detroit would have to empty their wallets to keep him. But, again, the Lions could use the franchise tag in this scenario and push a long-term deal negotiation a year down the line.
When should the Detroit Lions attempt to extend Ezekiel Ansah?
This poll is closed
They should not extend Ezekiel Ansah