The Detroit Lions have used the franchise tag on defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the team announced on their website Tuesday.

The tag means that Ansah will receive $17.5 million next year according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport assuming the two parties can’t agree to a long-term deal.

Ansah played 14 games in the 2017 season, finishing with 12 sacks and 44 tackles. While he has shown flashes of talent he has been wildly inconsistent, with nine of his 12 sacks coming in just three games. As a result, opinions have been up in the air as to what the Lions would do regarding his contract situation.

Detroit Lions Franchise Tag Ezekiel Ansah

Another Contract Year for Ansah

While the 2017 season was supposed to be Ansah’s make or break campaign, it followed the same storyline of the previous two. Ansah was beset by injuries, causing him to miss two games and be severely limited in most others. Ansah spent much of the previous off-season receiving surgeries and treatment for his 2016 injuries, with his absences spilling into training camp as well. Nonetheless, it was only a handful of weeks into the season in which Ansah showed up on the injury report once more.

After two underwhelming seasons, the Lions front office will undoubtedly be looking for a consistently dominant season and the Ansah of old.

While Ansah may be two seasons removed from performing at a level that warrants such a large paycheck, Detroit’s lack of talent on the defensive line didn’t leave them with much of a choice. Ansah is one of only two Lions defensive linemen to post double-digit sack numbers within the last two seasons.

Opinions on social media have conflicted as to whether or not the Lions should bring him back, and the move shows that the Lions front office is equally unsure on whether or not they can trust him long-term.

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