As badly as the 2018 season went for the Raiders there was no doubt that the turnover on this team was going to be substantial, and the massive influx of new players to the roster is a welcome sight. But even with the improvements to the team there is still a question of whether they’ve done enough at edge rusher.
The need was addressed on one side with the addition of Oakland Raiders 1st round pick Clelin Ferrell. The other side could still use some help and the only possible upgrade still out there is free agent Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah.
The former Lions first round pick is easily the top free agent still available. He is finally making the rounds for team visits after waiting for his surgically repaired shoulder to heal before testing the FA waters.
Though he has not signed a contract yet, the rumor is that he will be making his decision soon after May 7th. Why the that date specifically? Because of the Compensatory Pick formula which would have any team signing Ansah before then having him impact their chances of getting any comp picks for the 2020 draft. May 7 is the deadline for that formula with signings after that not counting towards the comp pick system.
Unfortunately for the Raiders chances of landing Ansah, they will have to move swiftly if they have any interest in him. Oakland might very well feel comfortable with moving forward with the players they have on their defensive line but passing on bringing in a pass rusher the quality of Ezekiel Ansah seems like a big oversight.
Soon to be 30 years old and coming off an injury, Ansah is likely to sign a contract that is less than his value for having had 16.0 sacks in his last 21 games, and Oakland could certainly still use that kind of production.
Currently the team is counting on a lot of improvement from second year man Arden Key and instant rookie production from Ferrell. A talented veteran pass rusher would preferable.
If the Raiders do have any interest in trying to sign Ezekiel Ansah, it will likely have to happen this week though. They had been rumored as being one of the most likely teams to have interest in him so to not even get him in for a visit would be disappointing. This is a chance to add another significant piece to the puzzle of fixing their pass rush so to let it go by without even kicking the tires on him would be a mistake.
Should the Raiders try to sign Ziggy Ansah?
This poll is closed
Yes, he is a needed upgrade to the defensive line
No, his contract would be too expensive and they should go with who they have now