Jaguars: How to pay Yannick Ngakoue and keep him around long term
Can the Jacksonville Jaguars and Yannick Ngakoue hammer out a new deal to keep the pass rusher in Duuuval for the next five years?
The Jaguars have to pay star edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue this offseason. He deserves a big long term contract. Here is how Jacksonville can afford him.
The Jaguars have opted to keep head coach Doug Marrone and general manager, Dave Caldwell, instead of cleaning house going into this offseason. This decision is either going to pay off big, allowing for another year of growth for young players or will mean another season of subpar football.
Caldwell made it known that the number 1 priority this offseason is resigning their star defensive end. Yannick Ngakoue was offered a short term contract last offseason and Tom Coughlin stopped communication with Ngakoue after he turned down that contract offer. Now that Coughlin is gone, Caldwell has free reign to make whatever football decisions he believes are necessary.
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There are many different reasons as to why the former Maryland star needs to be resigned, and honestly, it was something that should have been taken care of during the season or last offseason. However, due to changes in the front office, it is now more realistic for Jacksonville to re-sign him. Ngakoue has been a bit cryptic about his pans but has thanked Jacksonville for the support via Twitter.
Why does he mean so much to this franchise? – Some may argue that Ngakoue does not deserve to be paid like one of the elite edge rushers in the NFL. However, looking deeper than the stats tells a different story.
His work ethic is contagious and something younger guys can look up too. After the 2018 season, he told members of the media, including our own David Levin he wanted to be more of a leader on the field and in the locker room. He proved that this past season.
He is not the best at stuffing the run, but he is a master at pressuring the quarterback. Pairing him with Josh Allen as an edge duo that every offensive coordinator will fear, is something the front office hopes becomes a reality. This pair really hit their groove towards the end of the season.
Another important factor would be Ngakoue’s ability to force turnovers. These factors lead to wins, and are reasons as to why Jacksonville should pay the young edge rusher.
How can Jacksonville pull this deal off? – The Jaguars bet big on quarterback Nick Foles during the previous offseason, and all indications are pointing that Foles may not be the starting quarterback next season. Because of the massive contract that was given to Foles, money is rather tight in Jacksonville.
There will be a lot of tough decisions that need to be made but here is what Jacksonville must do to retain their star edge rusher.
The first big loss is going to be cutting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus – Total savings $20 M –Cutting Marcell Dareus is big because he played a key role in stopping the run and once he was injured for the season the Jaguars struggled mightily against the run.
However, he is getting older, and coming off an injury he may not be the same player. Ultimately he is just too expensive to keep around and it is smarter to cut hm.
The next step is cutting Andrew Norwell – Total savings $5.5 M – This gets a pretty ugly long term contract off the books. Andrew Norwell has not played up to the worth of his contract and has made far to many mistakes to warrant this deal.
Cut Marqise Lee – Total savings 5.25 Mil – Marqise Lee is a talented player, but he is always injured and at this point is probably the fifth-best receiver on the depth chart. He could be valuable if healthy on another team but not in Jacksonville.
Cut Jake Ryan – Total Savings $6 M – This is a tough decision because Jake Ryan has yet to really play for Jacksonville, but it’s more important keeping a player we know will produce. Ryan is owned $5.5 M next season.
Cut Geoff Swaim – Total Savings $4.05 M – Geoff Swaim wasn’t a good signing in the first place. He is a decent numbers for a No. 2 tight end, but is heavily overpaid and isn’t the Jaguars answer for the position.
Other Cuts like Josh Dobbs should be made as well freeing up about $2 M – With these cuts being made it frees up enough cap for the Jaguars to pay Ngakoue a contract similar to Demarcus Lawrence making about $20 Mil a year.
These moves leave far more than enough for him and gives Jacksonville some freedom to sign other role players or re-sign players like Donald Payne who performed very well towards the end of the season.
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