The Lions used the franchise tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah last year, and got 146 defensive snaps for their $17.143 million.
As a result, they won’t be using it on him again — even if it wouldn’t cost over $20 million — but haven’t closed the door on bringing him back.
Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions General Manager Bob Quinn wouldn’t completely close the door on bringing the 29-year-old Ansah back, though it seems unlikely.
“Part of that is the medical,” Quinn said. “Part of that is the, ‘How long is he going to be out? What do we think when he gets recovered? Is he going to be the same?’ So all these things kind of factor in, so I don’t have an answer today. I’ll say this about Ziggy. Ziggy fought through some things this year. Ziggy’s extremely, extremely tough and I’m proud of him being a Detroit Lion because he, like Matthew Stafford, he played through some things that a lot of guys wouldn’t and I appreciate that.”
Ansah has dealt with two major shoulder injuries in six seasons, and was plagued by knee and ankle problems. He had 12.0 sacks in 2017 (leading to the tag last year), and 14.5 in 2015. But he had just 4.0 in seven games last year, making the Lions reasonably hesitant.
They offered him a long-term deal last summer, and will be like a lot of other teams looking at a defensive end market which figures to be thinned by tagged players.