NFL teams have a two-week window beginning Tuesday in which to use the franchise or transition tag to keep one of their pending free agents off the open market. The Detroit Lions have not used the device since they tagged Cliff Avril in the spring of 2012, but they have a legitimate decision to make when it comes to using the tag on Ziggy Ansah this year. Ansah is coming off the rare season in which he was both not very good yet somehow impressive. He managed 12 sacks despite disappearing for long stretches of the season due to injuries. Just seven NFL players had more sacks last season, and the list of those who did includes some of the game’s best defensive linemen: Chandler Jones, Calais Campbell, DeMarcus Lawrence, Everson Griffen, Cam Jordan, Ryan Kerrigan and Joey Bosa. Much of Ansah’s production came in spurts, and against backup-caliber linemen. He had three three-sack games, and three other more in which he recorded one or no tackles (not including the two games he missed with a back injury). But Ansah also has proved that he has the goods to be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. In 2015, he dominated to the tune of 14.5 sacks, then was a non-factor for much of 2016 because of a high ankle sprain.
Why the Detroit Lions should use the franchise tag on Ziggy Ansah
Detroit Free Press | Feb 17