The Detroit Lions have placed the franchise tag on defensive end Ziggy Ansah, taking one of the few quality pass rushers off the market, the team announced on Tuesday. Ansah, 28, was a first-round pick by the Lions in 2013, and had one of his most productive seasons in 2017 despite missing two games.
Ansah was credited with 12.0 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three stuffs for 2017. In five seasons, he has amassed 44 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 20 stuffs and two passes defensed, to go along with 207 tackles in 73 career games.
Many have suggested Ansah would be a smart pickup for the San Francisco 49ers, who need some help in the pass-rushing department. Ansah isn’t a perfect scheme fit for the 49ers, but he would immediately be the best pass rusher on the team.
At this point, Ansah and the Lions will likely try and negotiate a long-term contract rather than having the player actually play out the franchise tag. Defensive end is one of premium positions in the league, so Ansah is set to make roughly $17.4 million this season on the tag. If he signs a new deal with the Lions, he’ll be demanding at least that much up front and probably a lot more guaranteed.