Lions' star DE Ezekiel Ansah will reportedly sign franchise tender this week

New Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia will be able to work with his best defensive player pretty soon. Star defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah is planning to return from Ghana, sign his franchise tag tender, and report to the Lions' offseason program, which begins on Tuesday. 

Ansah will make just over $17.1 million in 2018, making him one of the highest-paid defensive ends in football. 

Ansah was drafted with the No. 5 overall pick back in 2013, and has become one of the best pass-rushers in the league. He has racked up 44 sacks during his five NFL seasons, and last year rebounded from a down 2016 to post a 12-sack campaign. Ansah has recorded 235 pressures during his career as well, though his pressure rate has dropped as the Lions have failed to support him with adequate help along the defensive line. He was far more effective when playing next to Ndamukong Suh early in his career.

Patricia previously had an elite pass-rushing talent on his New England defense when he worked with Chandler Jones. It will be interesting to see how he elects to put Ansah's talents to use, and if he can help unlock some more of his capabilities. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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