Lions use franchise tag on Ansah

The Detroit Lions have designated defensive end Ezekiel Ansah as their franchise player.

Ansah was set to become a free agent in March, but the Lions are willing to pay the price to keep him on their roster for at least another year.

According to ESPN, the one-year contract is expected to cost $17 million, although the exact number will not be known until the salary cap numbers are finalised. 

Poised to be one of the top free agents on the market, Ansah has led the Lions in sacks in three of his last five seasons in the NFL, though a sprained ankle hindered his performance in 2016, when he only managed two sacks in 13 games. 

He was on the injury report for 13 out of 16 games, but still managed 12 sacks.

The tag gives Ansah, who turns 29 in May, the chance to prove he can stay healthy and productive while the Lions will have extra time to evaluate whether they want to offer him a long-term deal. 

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