49ers to Sign Ziggy Ansah

Grant Cohn

No surprise here.

After losing defensive end Nick Bosa to an ACL injury that presumably will end his season, the 49ers are expected to sign free agent defensive end Ziggy Ansah, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Ansah will have to go through COVID testing before he can sign his deal.

The 49ers worked out Ansah twice already this offseason, but couldn’t agree to a deal with him, most likely because Ansah’s price tag was too high for the 49ers. But now they can’t quibble over a few hundred thousand dollars. They need all the edge rushers they can get. Because in addition to Nick Bosa, Dee Ford has a mysterious neck injury and the 49ers haven’t said how serious it is. Neck injuries tend to be serious.

Ansah, 31, was the fifth-pick of the 2013 draft. For the first-five seasons of his career, he played for current 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, who was the Detroit Lions defensive line coach from 2010 to 2017. So Kocurek developed Ansah. And Ansah was an extremely effective pass rusher a few years ago. He recorded 14.5 sacks in 2015 and 12 sacks in 2017.

But Ansah recorded only 6.5 sacks total the past two seasons, as a shoulder injury made him ineffective. He played for the Seahawks in 2019, but they let him leave in free agency after just one disappointing season.

Ansah isn’t what he used to be. But if he’s healthy, he’ll be one of the best edge rushers the 49ers have, and he could play a vital role in the 49ers’ playoff push. They’ll need him to play Sunday against the Giants. We’ll see if he’s ready.

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