Ansah played under the franchise tag in 2018 and it led him to be less productive as he usually is. He was cursed with the injury bug just after seven games and was placed on injured reserved for the rest of the season after receiving shoulder surgery.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press spoke to Lions head coach Matt Patricia. His verbatim suggests that it’s unlikely that the team will bring Ansah back.
Lions coach Matt Patricia declines to provide an update on DE Ziggy Ansah on his conference call. To reiterate, I’d be surprised if he plays for the Lions again.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 10, 2018
The Lions will likely use their franchise tag elsewhere or not at all. Ansah can still be a very effective pass-rusher, especially with the right personnel around him. Even though he only had four sacks this past season, he had a 12.0-sack campaign just two years ago.
The Raiders desperately need the services of a pass rusher. They only had three sacks this past season and will have close to 80 million dollars in open cap space.
Ironically, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden spoke about the troubles of finding a good pass rusher. (He did trade Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears earlier this past year.)
“It’s hard to find a great one. it’s hard to find a good one. It’s hard to find one.”
The Raiders will have three first round picks in this upcoming draft. It would be a bit of a surprise if Gruden didn’t ask the front office to select a pass rusher. Ansah should still be very prominent free agent target for them.