Seahawks to sign ex-Lions DE Ansah


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Former Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday night, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The deal is expected to include $5.5 million in guaranteed money, with incentives that could boost it by roughly another $8 million, a source said. Ansah is scheduled to fly to Seattle on Thursday to sign the contract.

The Seahawks’ acquisition of Ansah will help offset the loss of defensive end Frank Clark, who was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.

By waiting until Thursday, the Seahawks won’t lose a 2020 compensatory pick by signing Ansah. Any unrestricted free agents signed after 4 p.m. ET Tuesday no longer count against the formula used to determine comp picks the following season. The Seahawks were projected to receive the maximum of four 2020 comp picks and did not want to forfeit any of them, which was a reason they waited until now.

The Seahawks brought Ansah for a visit in late April, Schefter reported. A source told ESPN they also met with former Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry in late March. Perry was released by Green Bay and thus would have had no bearing on future compensatory picks had he been signed before Tuesday.

Seattle also was linked to defensive tackles Al Woods, Corey Liuget, Danny Shelton and Earl Mitchell. Woods appeared in two games with the Seahawks in 2011.

Ansah, who will turn 30 later this month, has 48 sacks in 80 career games since the Lions drafted him fifth overall in 2013. His best season came in 2015, when he recorded 14.5 sacks en route to his only Pro Bowl appearance.

Ansah played on a $17.143 million franchise tag last season and was limited to seven games by a shoulder injury that required surgery. That could keep him out until the start of training camp or longer; some league sources told Schefter they believe Ansah could miss the first month of the season, at least.

Defensive line was the Seahawks’ top remaining need after the draft. They took defensive end L.J. Collier 29th overall — the selection they acquired from Kansas City in the Clark trade — but didn’t use any of their remaining 10 selections on edge rushers. The only other defensive lineman they drafted was defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas in the sixth round.

With Clark gone, no edge player on Seattle’s roster had more sacks last season than Cassius Marsh‘s 5.5, a career high that he reached with the San Francisco 49ers. The other players the Seahawks have at that spot are 2018 draft picks Rasheem Green (third round) and Jacob Martin (sixth), plus Quinton Jefferson, Branden Jackson, Nazair Jones and Nate Orchard. Barkevious Mingo, Seattle’s starter at strongside linebacker, rushed sparingly off the edge in passing situations last season. Orchard, a free-agent addition, received no guaranteed money in his one-year, minimum-salary deal.

After the draft, coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider strongly implied that more moves were in the offing to help Seattle up front.

“There is work that we’re engaged in,” Carroll said when asked about where the Seahawks stood with their pass rush after trading Clark and drafting Collier. “[The draft] is this stage of filling up the roster, and we’re very much involved with what is coming up next too. So we’re not done. We’ve got work to do. We’re excited about what’s coming up, and you guys will see in time.”

Schneider seemingly made reference to the Tuesday cutoff point, saying: “We talk about those phases of free agency, and there’s basically three or four different phases, and we’re basically now heading into Phase 3.”

Carroll said at the NFL annual meeting in March that a run-stuffing defensive tackle was a clear area of need for the Seahawks, who let 2018 starter Shamar Stephen leave in free agency and didn’t sign anyone to replace him.



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