The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday that star defensive end Ezekiel Ansah has signed his franchise tag. The deal is worth $17.1 million for one year, and, as pointed out by MLive.com, it makes Ansah the highest-paid defensive end for the 2018 season, tied with Cowboys end DeMarcus Lawrence, who is also playing under the tag this year.
The news confirms that Ansah is back in town and, presumably, participating in the offseason workouts at Allen Park. It also means the Lions don’t need to worry about a holdout from Ziggy to come to a long-term deal with the defensive end. The Lions can still negotiate with Ansah, but there is no longer any threat of a holdout from Ziggy, meaning there’s very little leverage he has over the Lions.
So Ansah will enter the 2018 with a lot to prove and a ton of money on the line. Stay healthy for 16 games and return to 2015 form, and he’ll enter 2019 free agency as one of the most coveted players available. Struggle to stay on the field yet again, and it will be hard for any team to commit to him long-term.