Notebook: Ziggy on franchise tag

Sports Xchange

ALLEN PARK, Mich. --Defensive end Ziggy Ansah will play this fall on the one-year franchise tag of $17.143 million after he and the Lions failed to reach agreement on a long-term deal by the July 16 deadline.

The Lions always seemed reluctant to give Ansah a long-term deal given his history of shoulder, knee and ankle problems, and Ansah had no reason to accept a below-market contract. He's one of the best pass rushers in the NFL when healthy, and he stands to cash in big if he hits free agency next year.

Ansah sat out team drills this spring recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, and the Lions hope that will keep him fresh for the fall after two mediocre years. Yes, Ansah had 12 sacks last year, but nine of those came in three, three-sack games, and he disappeared for long stretches of the season while missing two games.

In 2016, Ansah missed three games with a high ankle sprain and had a career-low two sacks.

--Cornerback Darius Slay spent part of his downtime this summer taking part in a weekend workout session with cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, Xavier Rhodes and Ahkello Witherspoon at Stanford. According to MMQB, the "cornerback summit" was arranged by Sherman, and Slay taught the group one of his favorite backpedal drills and gave a presentation on breaking down three-receiver formations.

Slay, 27, led the NFL with eight interceptions last season and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

--Tight end Sean McGrath signed a one-year deal at the end of Organized Team Activities last month. McGrath spent parts of the last three seasons playing for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers, playing primarily on special teams.

--The Lions have two sets of joint practices scheduled for training camp. They will practice against the Raiders twice in Napa, Calif., before their preseason opener Aug. 10, then host the Giants for three joint workouts (including a walk-through) the following week.

"(To) be able to maybe change the scenery of training camp is always a good idea," Patricia said earlier this spring.