The Bengals Should Take a Flyer on Ezekiel Ansah
Diving into the post draft NFL Free Agency pool rarely yields impactful results, but the former Lions pass rusher is going to entice a team before long, why not the Bengals?
If a player remains on the NFL free agent market at this point in the offseason, it is usually due to medical concerns, legal issues, or the player just isn’t very good. Some combination of the three is also common.
In the case of Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, concerns about a lingering shoulder injury and surgery rehab is the reason, but it is still a surprise to see him unsigned at this point. Next to quarterbacks, decent pass rushers are the hardest thing to find in the NFL. Even including last year’s injury plagued season, Anzah has posted at least 7.5 sacks in four of six career seasons.
Additionally, prior to being limited to seven games last year, he had never played in fewer than 13 games in a season. So, Anzah is not injury prone. His big injury just happened in a contract year, earning him that undesirable label.
As hard as they are to find, you can never have too many pass rushers. The Bengals already have two good ones in Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, but they account for nearly all of Cincinnati’s quarterback pressure. That lack of depth means the pass rush has disappeared a little too often in recent years. Incoming rookie Renell Wren has potential, but not as a pass rusher right away. Dunlap would really benefit from a running mate off the edge.
Anzah could fit that bill. More importantly, with it being so late in free agency, the former BYU Cougar will not require anything more than a one year deal worth a couple million dollars plus incentives. This takes the tired, but often reasonable “Mike Brown is too cheap” argument out of play.
If Anzah gets hurt again, Cincinnati can just cut bait after the season and lose very little in the long run. If there is still a sliver of a sack artist in Anzah, the Bengals get fantastic value late in free agency.
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