Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah reportedly will sign his $17.1 million franchise tag and report to the team's first offseason conditioning program Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
"To have an outside edge-rusher that can be as dominant as Ziggy is something that was really appealing to [head coach Matt Patricia]," general manager Bob Quinn told Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com of the decision to tag Ansah. "Matt has had a lot of great players in New England, and I think Ziggy would rank right up there with some of the best edge players Matt has ever coached."
Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reported April 8 that Ansah was in Ghana:
He is coming back to the United States on Monday, according to Rapoport.
"That's a pretty big guy to have returning," Patricia said of Ansah, per Twentyman. "If he was out there in the free-agent market with some other team right now that would be their front headline. I think those guys that we brought back and those guys that we brought in from a defensive perspective, we obviously see some things they can do well."
Ansah, 28, had a bounce-back season in 2017, recording 44 tackles and 12 sacks in 14 appearances after notching just two sacks in 2016. He reached the Pro Bowl in 2015 after posting a career-high 14.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus gave Ansah a grade of 80.2 for the 2017 campaign, ranking him 40th among edge-rushers.
Finding a complement to Ansah on the other side of the defensive line will likely be a priority for the Lions.
As to whether Detroit will try to lock up Ansah on a long-term extension, "Quinn seemed to indicate that the team is more likely to take a wait-and-see approach with Ansah in 2018 before deciding whether to make a multiyear commitment," Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported March 30.
So while Ansah will return for the 2018 season, the team's commitment beyond that remains unknown.