One of the top pass rushers heading into this season’s period of NFL free agency is Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Unfortunately, Ansah’s production in recent years has not matched his reign of terror from his earlier days in the league. In 2016 Ansah had his most underwhelming season by a long shot with only two sacks. The following season he bounced back in a big way with 12.0 sacks. Due to injury, Ansah had a disappointing season in 2018 with only four sacks, but it’s clear that at his age, Ansah can still be a fantastic contributor on defense.
Ansah might not have to move very far. The division rival Green Bay Packers could make a significant play for him and match him on the opposite side of Muhammad Wilkerson. The Packers are in dire need of a more threatening pass rush, but they do have a solid foundation with defensive tackles Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark. Since Wilkerson was hurt nearly all last season it will be interesting to see what he can offer to the pass rush once he is back at full health. Ezekiel Ansah could be the missing piece which will provide the Packers a defense that could match the offense’s elite capabilities.
The Packers have a new identity on their coaching staff, but they did retain defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Packers have a good chance of establishing a fierce defense with the proper pieces, but it all starts with the pass rush for them. Green Bay has some young, excellent pieces in the secondary as well the linebacker corps. Ansah could be reinvigorated with Green Bay’s defense on an all-around solid team. Considering the Lions are light-years away from making a playoff run, they are wasting Ansah’s second half of his career. The best thing the organization can do for him is allow its prized pass rusher to hit the free-agent market and get the contract he deserves at this point in his career.
Ezekiel Ansah has a while before his career is done barring any injuries. The Packers could offer a two- to three-year deal to capitalize on the strength of their current roster. The Packers could make a serious run with his addition. Ansah could be back to his double-digit-sack seasons in no time. Green Bay could reclaim its place at the top of the division with the right free agency and offseason additions. All the stars are seemingly aligning for the Packers right now.