Signing Ziggy Ansah unlikely to be Seattle’s final move

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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  1. Trevor

    Rob the one guy I actually pay attention to about injuries is Dr David Chao. He is former NFL doctor and consultant. He said based on the injury type and what he has heard that Ansah will be ready to go week #1 if the rehab goes as expected.

    Schefter is a great source and I think the missing the first month should be the expectations for all Hawks fans so the bar is set low.

    All I know is that the last time the Hawks signed a Lions Edge rusher coming off a down year to a one year prove it deal ( Avril) it worked out incredibly well and ended up being one of the best pickups in club history.

    In our scheme Ansah could have an incredible year and if he recovers and stays healthy should have a couple of more good years in the tank. Reminds me a little of the Fluker signing last year. They type of guy the Hawks desperately needed but with big injury risk so they take a flier.

    This signing was #1 on my wish list this off season so I am really happy but still think they should add a guy like Nick Perry as a hedge.

    • Rob Staton

      Cliff Avril wasn’t coming off a down year when Seattle signed him. He had 9.5 sacks in 2012 and 10 TFL’s — the second best year of his time in Detroit and the third most productive season in his career.

      Listen — I’m satisfied with the signing because of the contract. It’s low-risk. But I can’t say anything about production or the chances of an ‘incredible year’ until he proves he can get on the field and stay on the field.

    • betaparticle

      I think Chao is quite reliable as well, but we still are not 100% sure what the injury was. Chao’s timeline is based on a labral repair, but if there was also rotator cuff repair, that would take 2-3 more months than labral repair to build up satisfactory strength to protect against reinjury.

  2. millhouse-serbia

    We shouldn’t forget on Marsh and Orchard. Maybe they can be hedge for september withouth Ansah.

    • Trevor

      I think that is likely what they are. If Orchard is healthy I am anxious to see how he performs in camp.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m neither forgetting them nor holding out any hope what so ever that they will be a factor.

      We know what Marsh is and the Niners, who need EDGE rushers, just cut him. Orchard is a long shot to make the team until he shows anything worthy of consideration.

      • millhouse-serbia

        I dont have hope Marsh and Orchard will be big factor at all. I just think they could take some snaps (with Martin and maybe Green) while Ansah recovers. I would love that we can sign one more impact edge but I dont see why would that player, who can produce big and want bigger role and snap %, accept our offer if he knows that from october he will be behind Ansah on dept.chart and get low % of snaps.

        • Rob Staton

          I think there’s a very good chance they will keep adding and another EDGE, such as Nick Perry, could be very likely.

          • millhouse-serbia

            as I am looking at our depth at DL I dont see place for one more edge…we won’t have more than 5 edge’s at final 53.

            LJ Collier, Ansah, Green, Martin, are locked imo…Jefferson, Marsh, Orchard…

            DT are Reed, Poona (locked)..Naz, Meader and Christmas…

            I think they will add at DL, but DT not Edge…

            In your opinio, Who would be odd man from these edges if they add one more?

            And yes I.forgatt PC spoke.about Shaquem and his speed and potential impact from edge…

            • Rob Staton

              We don’t need to worry about any of this right now.

              Competition is the key. They can easily add another EDGE to compete in camp. Some of the names you’ve listed could be cut without a second thought too.

              There’s more than enough room for another EDGE.

              • jujus

                dream scenario is Gerald McCoy getting cut, and we sign him for 2-3 years on a 7 ish mil per year deal.

                • Rob Staton

                  Can’t see it

  3. GerryG

    you have typo in there Rob, should say If he wants to make real money in 2020 he has to produce.

    Its definitely a low risk gamble and well worth it. Honestly, the suspect health of the shoulder may be a blessing, as it keeps the $ commitment low, and forces to continue to add more depth options. If Perry will sign a one year deal, i’d be on board, as his motivation for a bigger payday could pay dividends.

    • Rob Staton

      Actually it was supposed to say 2019. He has to produce this year to earn more than $5m.

      • GerryG

        neither one of us can figure out what year it is!

  4. Trevor

    Could the Hawks be considering playing (Collier, Green and Jefferson) at DE on 1st down to give them a huge DL front 4 with Poona and Reed?

    Then rotate the pass rushers (Ansah, Martin, Marsh) in on 2nd-3rd down while kicking either Collier or Green inside on 3rd down.

    • GerryG

      The idea of not having pass rushers on the field for first down is a pretty outdated concept considering how often many teams pass the ball

      • Trevor

        If Collier and Green are not pass rushers then our DL is in big trouble going forward.

        Ansah is actually a pretty good run defender as well I guess.

  5. Trevor

    Rob what are your thoughts if any on Jamie Meader. From everything I read about him he seems like a great run stuffing DT. COuld he be an under rated signing and potential fit to rotate with Poona opposite Reed?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see how any of us can have a view on him. Never seen him play. People in Cleveland say he’s a good run defender but we have to see it.

      • Trevor

        lol great point. That is why I said everything I read. I have not watched a ton of Browns games the last few years and I doubt anyone here on the blog has. Still anxious to see how he preforms pre-season based on what Browns fans had to say.

  6. Saxon

    JSPC are killing the offseason. Getting Russ signed. Remaining disciplined in Free Agency. Trading Frank for good value to allow them to remain cap flexible. Transforming 4 draft picks into 11 players.

    Their moves have been fiscally prudent while somehow infusing the roster with fresh talent. They really have been on a roll going back to last offseason and even Aristotle couldn’t fault the logic in all the moves they’ve made. Superb work!

  7. Denver Hawk

    Safe to say this signing kills the Clowney trade speculation? If so, I’m moderately thrilled to maintain our high picks next year. Besides Perry, I’m not sure where we find starter quality on DL. Perhaps there are trade block players yet to be reported.

    • GerryG


      I never saw him getting traded for what we would pay (a second) until camp time. If youre the Texans you hold out for a #1

  8. Hawkin

    What about randy Gregory for Tedric Thompson? Cowboys apparently strongly looking for a trade partner to get a FS

    • Rob Staton


      • DCD2

        Fun Fact: Gregory has been suspended for more games (30) than he’s actually played (28). He’s also currently suspended. Not sure you can trade guys that are suspended.

        Regardless, hard pass. He’s about a speeding ticket away from a lifetime ban.

    • mishima

      Maybe to open a dispensary.

    • cha

      “Cowboys apparently strongly looking for a trade partner to get a FS”

      LOL @ Earl

  9. Uncle Bob

    I don’t hate the move, but can’t get all that excited about it either. Rob used the term “calculated gamble”, which is a good thing. Those I’ve met in life who have had a better than average upward trajectory are risk takers. Calculated risk takers seem to do well over time, as opposed to those who just take random risks and do the boom or bust thing, most often bust. To me JS is making the most of what he has to work with in a better way this season, and last for that matter, than in the immediate post SB seasons. Perhaps it’s learned perspective, perhaps some other set of motivators, but this is actually fun to watch. Who doesn’t like to see the under dog out perform expectations? Last season the Rams were the anointed NFC team almost from the git-go of pre-season. I won’t be surprised if the Niners are this years darling for the NFC West, at least, maybe sharing the lime light with a Rams team I expect won’t have as easy a roll as last season. Expectations, outside of the NW, will again be low for our Hawks. Good.

    Given the talent still available (assuming no surprise trades) it would be hard to make a strong case for significant improvement in the defensive front. As such, Pete is going to have to go with what he’s got. We’re going to need better coaching and scheming than we got last season when we face the creative offenses of the league. Whether you think it’s Hurtt, or Norton, or Carroll, or the combination, they need to learn from their short comings of last season and make better use of the tools they’ll have on hand when the season starts. It’s what they’ve got to work with, not what they wish they had.

    • Rob Staton

      I think they will continue to add to the DL.

      • Stevo

        Who would be your #1 choice to sign at DT? Shelton or ?

        • Rob Staton

          Not sure to be honest. Liuget if healthy and motivated. Al Woods has a connection with the staff.

        • kevin

          I know Rob has already mentioned what a terrible idea this would be, but I want Suh.

          We tried to get him last year and failed due to cap. This year we could afford him and can certainly use the admittedly less motivated version of Suh. Is the price and locker room distraction worth it? I think so. If we don’t do well this year Suh will probably disappear completely, but if there is a chance at a ring he might go the extra mile.

          • Uncle Bob

            Many folks who have had the opportunity/experience of building a work force, whether in sports or “regular” business, has learned a hard lesson about bucking the odds and introducing a probable “cancerous” employee to the team HOPING for the best.. They may realize their exposure and do it with fingers crossed (it’s called hubris), but that’s the gamble. Hopefully PC/JS have learned better.

            • Kevin

              You are probably right, but I like to think that Pete’s never ending optimism is something that can let the seahawks roll the dice on some questionable characters. It has worked more often than not on the past (Harvin was especially painful for example, I was completely against his signing by the way)

              Suh is a one and done deal that can bring in something good if we go deep into playoffs.

      • Uncle Bob

        No disagreement Rob, the unstated on my commentary is that all the remaining acquisition options have and “if” or “hope” attached to them.

    • Volume12

      Everyone is a gamble at this point. Seattle is now at a ‘damned if they do, damned if they don’t’ stage.

      They need the young guys to step up more than anything or anyone. There’s not a difference maker out there.

  10. Trevor

    Listening to Brock and Salk and they have Dan Orloski who was a teammate of Ansah in Detroit and man he loves Ansah. Says he is an incredible worker and loves football etc. Said he was one of the best / hardest working practice players he ever played with. Said the knock on love of the game is completely bogus.

    • Volume12

      I’m wondering why they only gave him $5 mil if they’re so confident they’ll get something outta him early?

      • j

        Because the other teams offered him less than that.

        • Volume12

          So they offered him more to miss the first month, and then get beaten out by one of Collier, Martin, or Green by the time he gets his legs under him in a new scheme/surroundings?

          Again. They want and need these young guys to step up more than what Ansah will provide.

          • Coleslaw

            Ansah should just be a nickel pass rusher imo. Let’s the young guys play, while maximizing his time on the field. Keeps him healthier, keeps him from hitting all those incentives, but doesn’t affect his motor. Might actually help his motor to be playing fresh a lot

          • cha

            With respect Vol I think you’re overcooking it. There’s going to be plenty of snaps to go around. Collier will likely have a traditional rookie DL level of snaps. The Hawks will need pass rush depth to cover for injuries or if Martin and/or Green don’t take the next step.

            Let’s let the summer and training camp play out a little. It may be that Ansah is ready to play Week 1. Or he is, and the Hawks just decide to be cautious for a couple weeks.

            Even if Ansah needs a month to get right, I’m fine with the guaranteed $, bonus structure and using a roster spot on him. If he gets into gear for Nov/Dec and becomes a holy terror in those playoff-critical games, the Hawks will have bought low on some valuable productivity.

            • Volume12

              Nah. I’m not reading too much into it.

          • j

            What did you expect them to do?

            “The Bills are offering you five million, but we think you are going to be really really good so we are going to offer you ten”???? That isn’t how it works.

            Regardless of how the Seahawks value Ansah – a star impact defender who will be a future franchise cornerstone or a hedge to push the rookies or anything in between – they are going to pay market value for his services.

            You are reading too much into it.

            • Volume12

              I expected them to do exactly what they did. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna hold my breath expecting Ansah to actually stay on the field.

      • Eburgz

        You know why they gave him 5 million. I know you watch the tape. Because healthy pass rushers of his caliber get paid 20+ million per year. We need a LEO and he was the best one available. It’s a calculated risk that we can easily afford to take considering our available cap space.

        Edge/LEO/ weak side DE:

        LB/DPR: Shaquem/Mingo?

        5T/ strong side DE that can slide inside “inside out guys”

        Some decent players are gonna get cut and I like that.

  11. AlaskaHawk

    Interesting signing. I know everyone is really excited about the development of the defense and the new addition to the defensive line. Great additions.

    I think we are missing a giant story about the offensive line. All this silence when there is one position to fill and we have no idea of the future of the offensive players. Many of the current players have filled a backup role, and had spotty performances. What is the contract situation with the starters? Will any get resigned after this year I hope they can put a decent line together next year – as traditionally the Seahawks have struggled on offense the first quarter of the season.

    What I got out of the draft was that the Seahawk were putting lots of effort into upgrading the receivers. And they have their one new guard to play with. Pretty much standing pat with the players they got.

    I’m only mentioning this in the hopes that there will be an article about it someday.

    • cha

      The Hawks have potentially two fully functioning OL’s on the roster right now


      • cha


        Not sure this qualifies as a giant story.

        • Greg Haugsven

          Competition and depth. These trench battle will be fun to watch.

        • AlaskaHawk

          The same could be said about the defensive line. Lots of players, but only 4 starters.

          I don’t want to bad mouth the line – I just think it deserves some attention. Leading into the draft it was hard to get people to imagine they would even draft an offensive linemen.

          I just think that what they have could fall apart very quickly with an injury to someone like Lupati. I’m not thinking Lupati will be the starter, what happened to Simmons? Most of the players on the second team were tried and they aren’t currently starting. Hunt for instance has been in multiple times.

          I would be real curious to know how Fant has developed? I had high hopes for him. Ifedi will be gone next year (maybe). Is Fant capable of replacing him or Brown? Maybe. Maybe tackle will be a high draft pick next year.

          • cha

            Those are valid questions but

            1-you can’t thoroughly address every position group in a single offseason
            2-this group as constructed is deep and experienced
            3-solari year 2 should help the group get settled even more in all the concepts

          • Rob Staton

            I can’t believe you’re still talking about the O-line Alaska 🤦‍♂️

            As for drafting an OL… how many people also knew they would pick ELEVEN times?

            • AlaskaHawk

              I hardly ever bring it up as it always gets shut down. Which is unfortunate. But I get it, let’s work on the defense! We need more.

          • david

            Iupati was signed to Start. Simmons will back up Fluker. Phil Haynes will back up Iupati. Fant might compete with Ifedi but I think they are content with having him play the 6th Lineman roll. Don’t seem like a giant story to me.

            Maybe a topic for next year and long term but still not a big story. For the first time in years we have something solid and not much change besides sweezy getting switched for Iupati which I actually thing has to be a potential to be an upgrade and fit better than Sweezy

  12. Greg Haugsven

    It will be interesting to see what his actual cap hit is for this year. Im guessing he has a good sum tied up in roster bonuses and since he only played in 7 games last year Im guessing his cap hit this year might come in a round $7 -$8 million or so. Still enough to go after some more.

  13. Greg Haugsven

    Seahawks signing CB Jamar Taylor. 28 years old, 5’11” 192 lbs. Most likely competing for the nickel position.

    • Coleslaw

      Hes a journeyman nickel corner. A hedge /competition for the young guys.

  14. Logan Lynch

    Training camp gonna be a dogfight this year, huh? Always Compete, baby!

  15. JohnH

    One name I’m surprised we haven’t been talking about more is Mo Wilkerson. I seem to recall him being pretty good, but I’m not %100 up on why he’s still a FA. Injuries? Personality? Asking too much money?

  16. Robeetle12

    Regarding Ansah’s shoulder. It was a torn Labrum as everyone knows. I had that surgery 16 years ago as a “spry” 50 year old. I was lucky enough to have the Seahawks team surgeon perform it.

    My rehab (as an old fart at 50) was for the first month it was painful. After that was about 3 months of PT. After the PT, I was able to get back into the gym and start lifting lightly again. Fortunately I was able to keep doing cardio during the down time, which helped my recovery.

    Ansah is young and has the benefit of a top of the line training room with some of the best in the business to help. My shoulder is great all these years later and I’ve never had a set back. He is going to be fine in time. He just needs to feel confident and when falling to the ground do not extend the arms out when landing which is hard for a football player.

    • JC3

      All he needs is a bubble wrap suit.

  17. Volume12

    Was Seattle in love with the top half of the ’13 class?

    #2 Luke Joeckel
    #3 Dion Jordan
    #5 Ziggy Ansah
    #6 Barkevious Mingo
    #11 DJ Fluker
    #13 Sheldon Richardson

    • AndrewP

      It was the last class Carroll heavily recruited while at SC… best guess

      • Volume12

        Could be. Found it interesting whatever the case.

    • Doug

      Was thinking about that–pretty incredible when you see it laid out!

  18. GauxHawks

    POLL: Who should back up Ziggy… Nick Perry or Dion Jordan?

    • Rob Staton

      It won’t be Jordan

    • Elmer

      It could be Cassius Marsh, Green, or Collier. It’s starting to look like we have DL options on our roster.

      We could use another veteran DT in training camp. Unless Quinton Jefferson or Naz Jones are going to move inside.

      Options. The plan is coming together.

  19. Paul Cook

    With the potential improvement of our special teams personnel, I wonder just how good we can be in regards to punt coverage? Could we become historically good with the absurd talents of Michael Dickson? I really haven’t looked into all the advanced stats in this department, but I would guess we could potentially really exploit the field position game next year.

    Just one of those things that popped into my mind…

  20. DHawk

    It may have been Brandon Beane leaking some sour grapes intel to Adam Schefter because Ian Rapoport is saying just the opposite – with confidence, that Ansah will be ready for training camp and game 1 of the season:

    I’ve been following Ansah since BYU and love this signing. It’s a lower risk, higher reward pickup, and also saved the Justin Coleman 4th round comp pick by waiting out the deadline. Really nicely done.

  21. JohnH

    They’ve cut Kam and Doug Baldwin.

    • Rob Staton

      New post up for people to discuss.

  22. millhouse-serbia

    Kam and Doug are finish their careers.

  23. MJB

    Not surprisingly, I like this. It IS a risk, but every contract is a risk. Injuries happen every year. This only costs us some cap room this year, and its way less than a deal with Frank would have been. If he provides 50% of the value Frank did, then this counts as a win. Its not like there are tons of FAs that are better or comparable available.

    He may bust, but its not a multi-year dead money and lost draft picks bust. We wont miss out on another top-15 at the position talent because we chose him.
    He may be average, or only play half the year. BUT if you consider losing Frank Clark in exchange for Ansah + Collier + other draft picks + maybe another FA, that seems like an overall value add.

    If he balls out like he has potential, this is gonna look like a steal. He easily had the highest ceiling of the FAs. If he does play that way next year he’s gonna be asking for Clark/Clowney $$$

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