The Seahawks are reportedly signing free agent edge rusher Ziggy Ansah to a one year deal. This is good news but Seattle needs more help at defensive end.
The Seahawks lost Frank Clark this offseason when he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. Production at defensive end was already a problem in Seattle even with Clark. Having no Clark meant Seattle was going to have find multiple players at edge rusher. On Wednesday, Seattle signed Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah to help replace Clark.
Ansah is potentially a great start towards not only replacing Clark but also making Seattle’s pass rush better in 2019 than it was in 2018. But Ansah also has a history of getting hurt. Twice in Ansah’s six year career he has had 12 sacks or more. According to Pro Football Focus, Ansah was excellent in limited games in 2018, too.
But therein lies the issue for the Seahawks and Ansah. He gets hurt a bunch. He played only seven games last year as he was dealing with a shoulder issue. Recently, Ansah had a check-up with Dr. Neal ElAttrache and was found to have no structural issues in his shoulder, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Still, Ansah won’t be medically cleared to play until mid-August. So halfway through preseason games Seattle will find out if Ansah can be good in Seattle.
Even if Ansah does really well in 2019, he is only replacing Clark’s production and the Seahawks needed other players to be better even if they had kept Clark. Seattle may not be done with free agency, though. I thought they would sign Ansah and I think they have a good shot with Nick Perry too. But like Ansah, Perry gets hurt a lot.
In fact, Seattle might need to sign three free agents who can be edge rushers. The Seahawks have young players like L.J. Collier, Jacob Martin and Rasheem Green. But relying on Collier, Martin or Green to suddenly be very good is not good business.
The best case scenario is that Ansah plays nearly all of 2019 and is very good, Seattle signs another free agent or two at defensive end and they are solid as well, Collier is fantastic as a rookie and then either Martin or Green take a big step in their second season and get 8 sacks or more.
The worst case is that Ansah stays injured and without a veteran presence to help them out, no young Seahawk is able to consistently get to the opposing quarterback.
No matter either case, Seattle can’t be done finding edge rushers. Seattle needs depth at defensive end and players to stay healthy. A team that wants to make it to the Super Bowl would have a multitude of pass rushers. The Seahawks need more.