The Detroit Lions made an important, albeit expected, decision on Monday. After giving defensive end Ezekiel Ansah the franchise tag earlier in the offseason, they allowed Monday’s deadline to pass without coming to a multi-year agreement with Ansah. That means the Lions’ best pass rusher will play out the 2018 season on his one-year, franchise tag deal worth $17.1 million.
So while we now know what Ziggy’s fate is for this season, his future starting in 2019 is now up for grabs. The Lions won’t be able to negotiate with Ansah during the season, but once it ends, the Lions will have until the start of free agency to lock up Ziggy, if they’re willing to commit to him.
But if Ansah has a monster year, he may not want to commit to the Lions. A dominant pass rusher doesn’t hit the market often, so if Ziggy gets a sniff of free agency, the allure of a bidding war may be too much for him to pass up.
March is a long way away, but today’s Question of the Day is:
Will Ezekiel Ansah be a Detroit Lion in 2019?
My answer: I’ve played out a lot of scenarios in my head, and almost none of them result in Ziggy staying in Detroit after 2018. If he continues to struggle with injuries this year, it has to be time for the Lions to cut bait. If he stays healthy and returns to his 2015 form, Ziggy will price his way out of Detroit.
The only way I see Ziggy staying in Detroit is if he hits somewhere in the middle. Maybe he still misses a game or two, but mostly looks good in 2018. The Lions will still obviously have first crack at him, and could maybe agree to a mid-range deal. Something like two years for $25 million or so. That would obviously be a pretty significant price drop of Ansah, and he could end up betting on himself instead of accepting the deal. But if his 2018 play isn’t up to par, Ansah may not have any other choice than to take a paycut.
But that all seems like a longshot. I don’t see a way Ansah is realistically on the roster next year.
Will Ezekiel Ansah be a Lion in 2019?
This poll is closed