Ezekiel Ansah, Lions Reportedly Fail to Agree to New Contract Before Deadline

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2018

Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah watches during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Allen Park, Mich., Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions and defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah reportedly failed to agree to a long-term contract Monday, forcing him to play the 2018 season under the franchise tag.  

Adam Schefter of ESPN shared word of the two sides' inability to reach an agreement.

Ansah, 29, is slated to make $17.1 million in 2018. He recorded 44 tackles and 12 sacks in 2017, his second season of double-digit sacks in his career.

The return to form came at a critical time after Ansah racked up just two sacks in an injury-plagued 2016 campaign. He's missed five games over the last two seasons because of injury and has been held out of part of the Lions' offseason program as he recovers from a knee ailment.

The Lions are likely curious about how Ansah will play under new head coach Matt Patricia. The former New England Patriots defensive coordinator will bring over a defensive system that should brilliantly fit Ansah, a versatile athlete who can fly off the end or stand up at a linebacker spot.

"To have an outside, edge-rusher that can be as dominating as Ziggy is something that is really appealing to Matt," general manager Bob Quinn told reporters. "Matt has had a lot of great players in New England, and Ziggy would rank right up there with some of the best edge players Matt has ever coached. We're really excited to get Ziggy into this new scheme."

Ansah hasn't seemed bothered by the short-term agreements, for good reason. He's made nearly $30 million over the last two years playing under one-year contracts.

If he produces at a high level under Patricia, Ansah could make out well in the long term. He'll be 30 a year from now and less likely to generate a huge long-term offer, but pass-rushers are at a premium. The Lions probably can't afford to franchise him for a second straight year, so this season will have huge financial implications.