Seahawks to sign ex-Lions DE Ansah

The Seattle Seahawks are signing defensive end Ezekiel Ansah to a one-year contract, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

There had been momentum toward a deal earlier Wednesday, as Rapoport reported the Seahawks had emerged as the front-runners for the veteran’s services.

Ansah, 29, had a disappointing 2018 season for the Detroit Lions, as shoulder injuries limited him to just seven games after a promising start to the year. For Ansah, it followed a familiar pattern, as he’s alternated big seasons with down years since 2015

As Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com noted in December, “In his six seasons with Detroit after being drafted fifth overall out of BYU, Ansah has dealt with shoulder, ankle, knee and biceps injuries—including a shoulder surgery in 2014 and a knee cleanout this past offseason.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday morning that “Ansah still is recovering from shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him out of training camp or longer; some league sources believe Ansah could miss the first month of this season, at least.”

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The Lions and Ansah couldn’t agree to an extension before the 2018 campaign, with Detroit instead choosing to slap the franchise tag on him. That was never a likelihood again in 2019, however, and Ansah hit the market.

When he’s healthy and on his game, he’s one of the NFL’s better edge-rushers, and the Seahawks will be hoping that’s the player they get in 2019. Based on how his past four seasons have played out, he’s due for a big campaign.

With Frank Clark traded to the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, the Seahawks needed to bolster the pass rush. The team did address the edge in the draft, adding L.J. Collier in the first round, but adding a veteran like Ansah made sense for Seattle. Ansah isn’t as good as Clark at this point in his career, not by a long shot, but if he can regain his 2017 form he could be a very nice addition for the Seahawks.

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