2018 NFL Contract Projection: Free Agent DE Ziggy Ansah

Ezekiel Ansah Measureables

Height: 6-5
Weight: 271
Age: 28
Experience: 5 seasons
Status: Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag ($17.1M)
1-Time Pro Bowler

Detroit Lions Projected Cap Space (Top 51): $27.1 million (per Over The Cap)

Ezekiel Ansah Profile

The Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Ezekiel Ansah.

Ezekiel Ansah is an athletic marvel, with the size, length, and movement skills to take over a game off the edge. He possesses all the physical tools necessary to be a dominant pass rusher but too often relies on his natural ability to get to the quarterback.

At times, dominate is exactly what he did. Only one player had more games with at least 3.0 sacks in a season than Ansah’s three such games in 2017: Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. Ansah bagged 9.0 sacks against the Giants, Packers, and Bengals but had only 3.0 sacks in his other 11 games.

Inconsistency has plagued Ansah since he entered the NFL in 2013. 52 percent of his sacks (23.0 of 44.0 career sacks) have come in 12 percent of his games (9 of 73 career games).

Ansah followed a dominant 2015 season, which he finished 3rd in sacks (14.5) made his first Pro Bowl, with 2.0 sacks in 2016. Aside from the sacks, 2017 was just as underwhelming as 2016.

Ezekiel Ansah Production

Season G Tack Sacks QBH Hurry Pres TFL FF FR QBH% Pres%
2017 14 44 12 17 17 35 15 1 1 5.25 12.2
2016 13 35 2 15 21 36 7 0 0 4.7 12.4
2015 16 47 14.5 34 41 74.5 15 4 2 8.4 20.5
2014 16 49 7.5 26 34 61.5 13 3 0 5.66
2013 14 32 8 11 22 33 7 2 0 3.1
Totals 73 207 44 103 135 240 57 10 3 5.53 25.5

Defensive End Market

The market for pass rushers is always well. The Giants have both of the highest-paid 4-3 defensive ends in the NFL, in Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul. Ansah will be looking to land in the range.

Player Comparables: NYG Olivier Vernon, NYG Jason Pierre-Paul, JAX Calais Campbell

Contract Comparison

Ansah, who entered the NFL at 24, will be 29 years old at the start of the 2018 season. He and Demarcus Lawrence will each be looking to set the positional market in 2018.

Player Year Age Yrs Total APY GTD Full GTD  ‘18 APY
Calais Campbell 2017 31 4 $60.0M $15.0M $30.0M $30.0M $15.99M
Jason Pierre-Paul 2017 28 4 $62.0M $15.5M $40.0M $29.0M $16.42M
Olivier Vernon 2016 26 5 $85.0M $17.0M $52.5M $40.0M $19.49M
Averages 28.3 4.3 $69.0M $15.8M $40.8M $33.0M $17.3M

2018 Cap Adjusted Average Annual Salary: $17.3 million

Statistical Comparison (Two Year Averages Before Deal)

Ansah and Pierre-Paul are the only players with multiple 10.0+ sack seasons on their resume (2 each) prior to signing long-term contracts (Wake – 1, Campbell – 0). Ziggy’s overall production matches up well with the comparables.

Player Seasons Sacks Pressures Hurries QB Hits TFL  FF FR
Calais Campbell 2015-16 6.5 37.5 20.5 20.5 14.0 1.0 2.0
Jason Pierre-Paul 2015-16 7.0 36.0 27.0 16.0 7.0 3.0 1.0
Olivier Vernon 2014-15 7.0 61.5 34.0 24.5 13.5 1.0 0.0
Averages   6.8 45.0 27.2 20.3 11.5 1.7 1.0
Ezekiel Ansah 2016-17 7.0 35.5 17.0 16.0 11.0 0.5 0.5

Leverage

The Lions fully intend to keep Ansah in Detroit, and the franchise tag will keep him there at least one more season. The two sides have until July 16 to agree on a deal. No 94 would command a hefty price on the open market, but he won’t get that chance just yet.

Salary Floor: $14 million per year

Ansah’s lack of consistency could shy teams away from investing top of the market money in the former 5th-overall selection. The tag makes Ansah the 2nd-highest played edge rusher in the NFL, behind only a transcendent talent, Von Miller.

Salary Ceiling: $17 million per year

Potential and ability alone could easily push Ansah to the top of the 4-3 defensive end market.

Contract Projection

Last season, pass rushers Jason Pierre-Paul, Chandler Jones, and Melvin Ingram were each franchised, as Ansah was this February. Each of those three worked out long-term extensions with their teams. Ansah should fall right into the top tier of the edge rusher market.

5 years, $80 million, $16 million APY, $30 million fully guaranteed

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