The Seattle Seahawks are expected to sign former Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah to a one-year deal, a source confirmed on Wednesday night.
The agreement was first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. While the deal is not yet signed, Ansah is set to fly to Seattle on Thursday to make it official. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the deal has $5.5 million in guaranteed money with incentive packages making close to $8 million more attainable.
Head coach Pete Carroll all but guaranteed that free agent pass rushing help would be coming in the near future upon the completion of the NFL Draft two weeks ago.
“There is work that we’re engaged in [during] this stage of filling up the roster and we’re very involved in what is coming up next,” Carroll said. “We’re not done, we have work to do. We’re excited about what’s coming up and you guys will see in time.”
Seattle was waiting for the May 7th deadline for free agent signings to count against the compensatory draft pick formula to pass before making any further additions to their roster. They are projected to receive four compensatory selections in next year's NFL Draft and signing Ansah prior to Wednesday would have negated one of those selections.
They have had Ansah, Nick Perry, Shane Ray and others along the defensive line in for visits in recent weeks. But Ansah was the pick of the litter when it came to pass rush help. Additional free agent signings along the defensive line wouldn't be a surprise in the coming days and weeks either.
Ansah has twice posted seasons with at least 10 sacks during his time in Detroit. He had 14.5 sacks in 2015 and 12.0 sacks in 2017. He appeared in just seven games last season for Detroit due to injuries. Ansah is still recovering from shoulder surgery, but is expected to be fully cleared by the middle of training camp in August. Ansah played in just seven games for the Lions last season, but recorded four sacks in limited action.
Ansah immediately becomes Seattle's most proven edge rusher. He racked up a total of 48.0 sacks in six seasons with the Lions. Cassius Marsh's 5.5 sacks last year with the San Francisco 49ers was the most by any Seattle defensive end in a single year of their career prior to Ansah's addition. Ansah has posted at least 7.5 sacks in four of his six years with Detroit.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions attempts to tackle Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of the NFC Wild Card game at CenturyLink Field on January 7, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)