Report: Seahawks get their pass rusher, will sign Ziggy Ansah
The Seattle Seahawks have reportedly won the sweepstakes for desired free-agent pass rusher Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweeted Wednesday night that Ansah, 29, will join the Seahawks on a one-year deal.
The signing adds depth to a position previously held by Frank Clark, whom Seattle traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in late April for two high-round draft picks. Seattle later managed to turn five picks into 11 new rookies, but was unable to fill Clark’s role.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 9, 2019
Ansah becomes the Seahawks’ first signing of what’s termed the “second wave” of free agency. In a period that began Tuesday, teams do not risk losing a 2020 compensatory draft pick by signing a quality free agent. The risk of losing that compensatory pick – coupled with Ansah’s recent shoulder injury – is likely what kept the former Detroit Lion on the market through April.
Is there reason for concern with Ansah’s shoulder? Not necessarily, according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton. Clayton reported on May 1 that, according to his sources, Ansah’s shoulder is structurally sound. His signing still comes with a risk; it may take time for Ansah to build up strength and he could be limited in training camp. But should Ansah recover without setbacks — and manage to stay healthy — he offers Seattle a Pro Bowl-caliber talent at a position in desperate need of veteran help.
Ansah had been tied to the Seahawks since the team hosted him for a visit in April. But Seattle wasn’t the only team showing interest; Ansah also had visits with the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens. There were conflicting reports about his likely landing place as recently as Wednesday morning when, hours after Rapoport claimed the Seahawks had emerged as the front-runner, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said his team remained in talks with Ansah’s agent.
A fifth-overall pick by the Lions in 2013, Ansah had spent the entirety of his pro career with Detroit prior to this year. Through six seasons, he has 218 tackles, 110 quarterback hits, 48 sacks and 10 forced fumbles. The Lions franchise-tagged Ansah in February 2018, but the defender only managed to start two games after suffering a Week 1 shoulder injury. He ultimately landed on the injured reserve in December.
According to Rapoport, Ansah will meet with the Seahawks Thursday to sign his deal.