The Detroit Lions have until 4 p.m. ET on Monday to come to a multi-year agreement with defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Earlier in the offseason, the Lions gave Ansah the franchise tag for the 2018 season, worth $17.1 million. Ansah has already signed the franchise tag, but the two sides could still theoretically come to a long-term agreement before training camp.
However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that isn’t expected to happen. Rapoport is reporting that “barring a significant turn of events” Ansah will play the season on his one-year franchise tag deal.
Franchise tag update as the Monday deadline looms: #Lions DE Ziggy Ansah and #Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence are both expected to play on the tag this year, barring a significant turn of events, per sources. Important seasons coming for both pass-rushers.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 14, 2018
This isn’t all that surprising considering Ansah’s recent career has been very up and down. Injuries have plagued his game, making him both less effective and less avaiable over the past few seasons. Ansah did tally 12.0 sacks last year, but nine of those came in three games. From the last week in September to mid December, he only had three total sacks. That sort of inconsistency would make it tough for the Lions to commit long-term to the pass rusher.
So it looks like Ansah will have a prove-it year in 2018. If he performs well, he could earn himself a fat paycheck next offseason, whether it be with the Lions or another team. If not, well, who knows what happens then? Either way, we could be nearing the end of Ezekiel Ansah in Detroit.