Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Lions DE Ziggy Ansah and Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence are both expected to play out the 2018 season under the franchise tag, barring a significant turn in contract negotiations with their respective teams.
The deadline to negotiate with franchise players is next week and all indications have been that both players were unlikely to get long-term extensions in place before then.
Both players could be in line for big-money contracts next year if they’re able to test the open market.
Ansah, 28, was taken with the No. 5 overall pick by the Lions back in 2013. He played out the final year of his four-year, $18.595 million rookie contract before the Lions picked up his fifth-year option last May.
Ansah made a base salary $12.7 million for the 2017 season before the Lions used the franchise tag on him several months ago. Ansah has already signed the tender.
In 2017, Ansah appeared in 14 games for the Lions and recorded 44 tackles, 12 sacks, a forced fumble, and a recovery. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 40 edge rusher out of 106 qualifying players.
Lawrence, 26, is a former second-round pick by the Cowboys in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Boise State. He finished a four-year rookie contract before the Cowboys used their franchise tag on him several months ago.
The franchise tag will cost Dallas around $17.5 million fully guaranteed for the 2018 season.
In 2017, Lawrence appeared in all 16 games and recorded 58 total tackles, 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one pass defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 3 overall edge defender out of 106 qualifying players.
We have both players featured in our Top 25 – 2019 NFL Free Agents list.