New Seahawks’ DE Ziggy Ansah still is recovering from shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him out of training camp or longer; some league sources believe Ansah could miss the first month of this season, at least.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
I offered some thoughts on the Ziggy Ansah signing yesterday before the deal was confirmed. Since then it’s emerged he’ll be signing a one-year contract with the Seahawks worth about $5m up front with an extra $8m in incentives.
At first this felt like good news in terms of Ansah’s health and availability. One day after free agent signings no longer impacted comp picks — the Seahawks were signing the biggest name left on the market. With so much concern about his shoulder injury (and it’s the main reason he’s still available) this felt like a positive review of the situation. If the shoulder was a big problem, would they be signing him this early in the process?
As it turns out the shoulder might still be a problem. Adam Schefter’s tweet above claims he could miss the start of the season. That’s probably why the contract is worth only $5m with so much more tied into incentives. The $5m isn’t that much of a gamble for a player of Ansah’s quality. If he wants to make real money in 2019 he has to produce.
Even so — there’s a real possibility that for all the clamouring for Ansah among fans and media, health could seriously impact his ability to get on the field and impact games.
The good news is the contract. As noted, the Seahawks are not really on the hook for much up front. It’s not a big commitment. It’s a heavily incentivised deal and therefore well worth rolling the dice. You can’t seriously criticise the signing. Seattle is taking a calculated gamble where the rewards are big and the risks are only based in disappointment rather than impact.
It does mean they’ll need to sign more players as cover though. This isn’t a one-and-done situation in the third wave of free agency. Seattle’s pass rush was inadequate before the Ansah signing and if there’s doubt about his ability to start the season — they’re going to need to add more players.
Ansah’s incentive-loaded contract allows them to do that. So whether it’s Nick Perry, Allen Bailey or someone else — they have the room to add another EDGE. When this team was at its best they could rotate multiple quality pass rushers (Bennett, Avril, Clemons/Clark). They also need to add a defensive tackle. There’s more work to be done.
And while the younger players like Jacob Martin, Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier will get their shot to contribute and develop — there’s a lot of development needed. Following the draft and now with the addition of Ansah, this team looks a lot deeper and more competitive. It already had talent at key positions. Further calculated moves in free agency to make this roster even more competitive are distinctly possible given the cap situation. They’re not stopping here and that’s something all fans can take encouragement from.
The Seahawks have also signed nickel cornerback Jamar Taylor today. He’s 5-11 and 192lbs with the quickness and agility to work in the slot. The signings keep coming.
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