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Try to work out a deal with Ezekiel Ansah. He already is getting a massive raise this year as his salary jumps from $5.9 million to $12.7 million, but after playing out his fifth-year option in 2017, Ansah will be an unrestricted free agent.
There are a few reasons to sign Ansah right now. One is that the Lions have more leverage as Ansah remains further away from free agency. The franchise tag for defensive ends in 2018 will probably come in around $18.3 million, and if the Lions wanted to franchise Ansah again in 2019, they would have to pay $22 million. That’s $53 million over the next three years.
It seems like a lot, but keep in mind that Olivier Vernon, a less productive pass-rusher, just got $53.3 million over the first three years of his new deal from the Giants when he hit unrestricted free agency. With inflation and superior performance, Ansah would top $55 million and even approach $60 million over the first three years of his new contract if he was a free agent tomorrow.
That responsibility continued when Ryan took the job as Buffalo Bills coach. In one season, Lynn moved up from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to interim head coach when the Bills decided to part ways with Ryan.
One of the key things Lynn said he learned from Ryan was how to develop a solid, working relationship with players.
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â€œHis players loved him,â€ Lynn said. â€œWe didnâ€™t always have success, but they played hard. Did we always put them in the right position? Maybe not, but they always played hard.â€
He grew up a fan of the team, has an admirer in Jerry Jones and could join the pantheon of players who win a Super Bowl in Dallas. If the Cowboys were interested, that possibility might be enough to get Peterson to accept a secondary role. Making this happen, though, would require quite a few gymnastics.