ESPN: Ansah is biggest roster challenge for Lions

The Detroit News
Ziggy Ansah

The biggest roster decision facing the Detroit Lions is determining where defensive end Ziggy Ansah fits this season and potentially beyond. That’s the opinion of ESPN’s Field Yates, who identified top personnel issues for all 32 NFL teams.

The Lions used the franchise tag on Ansah in February and he signed it in April. He will play in 2018 for a guaranteed $17.1 million.

The Lions and Ansah can try to work out a long-term contract but have to do so by July 16.

“The Lions utilized the franchise tag on Ziggy Ansah this offseason, which will naturally lead us toward the question of keeping him around long term,” Yates says. “The team has until mid-July to sign him to an extension, but if that doesn't happen, 2018 provides a chance to evaluate how he fits as the team transitions to a new defensive regime led by Matt Patricia and Paul Pasqualoni. At his best, Ansah is a game-changer with ability that translates to any system. How quickly he assimilates into this new role –  and how much he produces – will play a part in determining how much his next contract is worth, be it in Detroit or elsewhere.”

Ansah, 29, has battled injuries the last two seasons but managed 12 sacks in 2017, including six in the final two games.