Defensive end Ziggy Ansah is visiting Baltimore
The Baltimore Ravens are taking a look at a veteran pass-rusher after losing a pair of impact players on the edge in free agency. According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, free agent defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is visiting with the Ravens on Wednesday.
Ansah played in just seven games last season, the fewest since Detroit took him with the fifth overall pick of the 2013 draft.
The star pass-rusher suffered a right shoulder injury in the Lions’ season-opener that caused him to miss the next six games. He never gained a completely clean bill of health before returning to the field, eventually exacerbating the injury on December 9th against the Arizona Cardinals. He was placed on injured reserve two days later.
In 2015, his third year in the league, the BYU product began scraping the ceiling of his sky-high potential, finishing with 14.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and 34 quarterback hits – all career-highs to date. Though Ansah’s progress was beset by an early-season ankle injury that plagued him throughout the 2016 season, he rebounded one year later to post the second double-digit sack campaign of his career.
At 29, Ansah should still have multiple seasons left as an impact player – when healthy, of course. But his shoulder injury and a history of lower-body injuries has ensured that teams exercise extreme caution while negotiating with him in free agency.
Baltimore, after losing rising star Za’Darius Smith to the Green Bay Packers and franchise icon Terrell Suggs to his hometown Arizona Cardinals, needs all the help it can get rushing the passer. Ansah wouldn’t be a seamless fit given the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme and his experience playing with his hand in the dirt, but could nevertheless pick up some slack of the team’s departed pass-rushers, likely at a cheap price, too. He’s previously visited with the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints.