Detroit Lions designate Ziggy Ansah as franchise player

Can negotiate long-term deal until July 16

In a move that was expected, the Detroit Lions announced Tuesday that they have designated defensive end Ziggy Ansah as their franchise player.

Ansah finished 2017 with a dozen sacks  44 total tackles (39 solo), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Six of those sacks occurred in the final two games. It was an improvement from the 2016 season when he had two sacks but not quite enough to match his best year when he had 14.5 sacks in 2015.

His 44 career sacks rank fifth all-time in Lions history.

Ansah, 28, was the Lions first-round draft pick (fifth overall) in 2013. It was seen as a risky pick. Ansah’s size and athleticism fit a first-round profile, but he didn’t play football until in college at Brigham Young. He was raw but proved to be a quick learner.

He will be paid $17.5 million for 2018 once he signs his tender, according to Ian Rapoport, NFL Network Insider. Ansah’s agent and the Lions have until July 16 to work out a longer deal.

Ansah’s career totals also include 73 games (71 starts), 207 total tackles (155 solo), 10 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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