Lions’ Ansah will consult Suh about contract situation

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — With most of the spotlight on quarterback Matthew Stafford’s anticipated contract extension, it’s easy to forget defensive end Ziggy Ansah is also entering the final year of his current deal.

Ansah, 27, is set to earn $12.73 million this season after the Lions exercised the fifth-year option on the rookie contract. If he makes it to the market, he likely would be the top guy at his position.

Like most players, Ansah is saying little about his contract situation, but he plans to consult with former teammate and good friend, Ndamukong Suh, at some point in the process.

“I haven’t talked to him about it yet, but I will,” Ansah said.

Suh broke the bank in 2015, temporarily becoming the NFL’s highest paid defensive player when he left Detroit to sign a six-year, $114 million pact with the Miami Dolphins in 2015. That deal that included nearly $60 million guaranteed.

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If Ansah becomes a free agent, he could see a similar pay day. The cap has continued to sharply rise, increasing nearly $24 million since 2015.

The Lions always could utilize the franchise tag on Ansah, a one-year deal that would pay him the average of the top five players at his position, or a 20 percent raise on his previous year’s salary, whichever is greater. The tag was $16.9 million for defensive ends in 2016.

“I don’t pay attention to that at all,” Ansah said. “I know I’m still under contract. I’ll be here 2017, and like I said, the focus for this year is to win a championship. First of all, try to get into the playoffs and after that, it is what it is. But the goal is to win a championship.”

The No. 5 pick in the 2013 draft, Ansah recorded 30 sacks in his first three seasons, including 14.5 in 2015. Hindered by a high ankle sprain last season, he recorded just two in 13 games.