The Detroit Lions have used the franchise tag on pass rusher Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, which means he will not hit free agency on March 14. The team made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday.


Ansah, who played college football at BYU, was the fifth-overall draft pick by the Lions in 2013. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015.

Ansah has recorded 12-or-more sacks in two of his five NFL seasons. He had 12 this past season and 14.5 in 2015. Ansah was a non-factor for much of 2016 due to a high-ankle sprain but still had two sacks that season. In 2013 and 2014, he brought down the quarterback a total of 15.5 times.

Over his NFL career, Ansah has registered 207 combined tackles, 44 sacks, two passes defensed, and 10 forced fumbles.

Ansah could have drawn interest from the 49ers, who are in need of a pass rusher. Former NFL scout and current contributor to The Athletic, John Middlekauff, was recently on the "No Huddle Podcast" and shared what he had heard from a trusted resource.

"He thinks Ziggy's best days are kind of behind him," Middlekauff said. "Even though he had 12-and-a-half sacks, he didn't think he looked as good this year, kind of stiff. Obviously, he's battled injuries. He did have 12-and-a-half sacks, and pass rushers get paid but do I want to pay that guy 12 or 13 million dollars a year?"