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Detroit Lions place franchise tag on Ezekiel Ansah

  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
  • Published: Feb. 27, 2018 at 03:38 p.m.
  • Updated: Feb. 27, 2018 at 04:39 p.m.
 
 

The Detroit Lions are making sure Ezekiel Ansah stays with the team for 2018.

The Lions franchise tagged Ansah on Tuesday in a move that will pay him $17.5 million for 2018 once he signs his tender, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Ansah proved to be one of the NFL's best edge rushers in 2017, finishing with 12.0 sacks, 44 total tackles (39 solo), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. No player had more sacks than Ansah in the second half of 2017 (he tied Chandler Jones with eight), and he finished the year with back-to-back three-sack games.

Ansah's late-season heroics helped propel him to a No. 5 ranking by Chris Wesseling and Gregg Rosenthal on NFL.com's Top 101 Free Agents of 2018.

Although Ansah's on-field numbers are impressive, the 28-year-old's struggles with injuries over the last two seasons didn't make him a slam dunk to return to Detroit for 2018 season. Still, it would have been strange if the Lions let the 6-foot-5, 276-pound pass rushing terror test free agency after being one of only two players to record double-digit sacks in two of the last three seasons. With hardly any other options available, it's a sensible move by general manager Bob Quinn.

The franchise tag lets the Lions keep one of the NFL's best defensive ends without committing to him long term -- and they have plenty of salary-cap space (roughly $44 million) to pay the expensive tender. Ansah gives new head coach Matt Patricia a fine building block to construct the Lions' defense as he sees fit.

The Lions, who last used the franchise tag in 2012 on Cliff Avril, have until July 16 to sign Ansah to a long-term contract. He joins Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry as the only two players to be tagged so far this offseason. The franchise tag designation window closes March 6.

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:

The Jets shouldn’t give anyone over the age of 27 a contract.

That includes Kirk.

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5 hours ago, bla bla bla said:

This Giants trade makes me think that they don't go QB at 2, If Barkley goes 1 do the Giants take Nelson or look to move back? I find this whole offseason more fascinating than any in recent memory.

unfortunately the jets leadership gives me ZERO confidence that something good may come out of it.  :/

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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000920544/article/richard-sherman-joining-49ers-on-3year-39m-deal

Richard Sherman joining 49ers on 3-year, $39M deal

Richard Sherman's free-agency tour began with the San Francisco 49ers, and it won't extend beyond the Bay Area.

The veteran cornerback has agreed to a three-year deal with the 49ers worth $39 million (including a $5 million signing bonus), NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

A text from @RSherman_25 about him agreeing to terms with the 49ers: â��Iâ��m excited. A lot of HOF DBs have gone through this incredible organization and I am looking to uphold that standard.â��

â�� Steve Wyche (@wyche89) March 11, 2018

Sherman was released by the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the week after the team decided it wanted to give the veteran an early start on free agency. The defensive back has been among the league's best for the last five years, becoming a lockdown defender and face of Seattle's Legion of Boom secondary. He's been as excellent as he's been topical, boisterous on the field (backed up by his play) and outspoken off it.

Perhaps his most famous play of his career came in the NFC Championship Game (coincidentally against San Francisco) when Sherman tipped a pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the end zone, resulting in a game-sealing interception and ensuring Seattle's trip to Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos to win the title.

Sherman has dealt with injuries as of late, suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in 2017. He's on the path to returning, rehabbing during the offseason while visiting with prospective employers and promising he'll be back on the field by June, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. He had a meeting scheduled with the Detroit Lions, per Pelissero, but decided one visit would be enough.

Sherman said he wants to play for a contender, and the 49ers could be one rather quickly based on the success enjoyed by the team after acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo. Sherman discussed Friday on KIRO-AM in Seattle what he was looking for in a new team.

"I want to go to a contender," Sherman said. "I play at a high level. I've always been a guy that can work well with others and continue to elevate if my teammates elevate and elevate others.

"...Would I go to a young secondary that is like we were when we were younger and help them grow and help them advance? Sure, if the number looks right and the situation is comfortable for me and my family."

That second scenario sounds a lot like the 49ers.

Armed with $66 million in cap space, 49ers general manager John Lynch was able to throw any number at Sherman. He found a fit at $39 million over three years, including a $5 million signing bonus. Sherman represented himself in contract talks, negotiating without an agent and adding intrigue to the details of his new deal.

Sherman's contract is an incentive-laden prove-it deal -- if he makes the Pro Bowl in 2018, $16 million in base salary is guaranteed from 2019-2020, per Pelissero -- which offers the corner a chance to earn more than he would have in Seattle if he achieves, but also gives San Francisco protection in case he doesn't. More details from Pelissero:

Richard Shermanâ��s deal includes a $5M signing bonus, plus $2M base salary, $2M in 46-man roster bonuses, $1M playtime incentive and $3M Pro Bowl incentive in 2018. So #49ers get protection, and Sherman gets upside to beat his #Seahawks deal if he plays well. Win-win.

â�� Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 11, 2018

Ian Rapoport reported earlier Saturday Sherman has an affinity for the West Coast, which makes plenty of sense and helps explain such a swift signing. The Southern California native is a Stanford graduate and is familiar with Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was Seattle's defensive quality control coach from 2011-2013, Sherman's first three seasons in the NFL. He'll stay in the NFC West while also avoiding having to learn a new scheme.

Hey #Faithful, Gonna be a fun weekend! pic.twitter.com/CAnU4GNikP

â�� John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) March 11, 2018

With Garoppolo secured and a visible turnaround from his presence, San Francisco has quickly morphed from moribund to promising. Adding Sherman to a secondary in need of a corner will only further improve their chances in 2018 and beyond.

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22 minutes ago, Sully80 said:

Cousins next

To the Vikings.

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3 minutes ago, Maxman said:

Well that is bad news because the 49ers will win that competition each time. Because they have a QB and ended on such a positive note.

and a HC.

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1 minute ago, T0mShane said:

This was the plan allllll along.

Draft Mayfield & I'm okay with it.

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4 minutes ago, Integrity28 said:

I’ve said it before, poor Adams has no idea who drafted him...

Welcome to the swamp Jamal.

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1 hour ago, BrickTamland said:

I'd like Jensen, Eifert, Claiborne & Matthews tmw. thanks!

add Mathieu... Draft Mayfield & I'm good.

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2 minutes ago, Greenseed4 said:

Terrell Pryor had his best season as a pro with the Browns (2016)

77 receptions, 1,007 yards, 4 TDs. 

Josh McCown was his QB. 

 

He’s a free agent. 

I'll kick the tires.

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31 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

there have been people saying for a while that the browns will take allen.  not that you can put any cred into anything right now.

Hey, they are the Browns.

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14 minutes ago, Patriot Killa said:

Mathieu signing has to happen today. Hopefully today. Maybe tomorrow though.

or the next...

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On 3/26/2018 at 7:29 PM, joewilly12 said:

Less money than the Jets offered him NFL Network is saying.

If you have already made mega bucks in your career who would you prefer to play for, the Rams or the jets?...  if you even had to think about it you have blinders on.

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9 minutes ago, Dinamite said:

It is a high 3rd round pick and I am hoping for a young and hungry RB.  This class is loaded and we should take advantage.

 

But Jets may be preparing just in case there is another position higher in value around that pick (e.g., OG/C) or if they trade the pick on draft day to swap with the giants for #2.

Can you say Rashaad Penny??? :)

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