Will the Jacksonville Jaguars be able to keep fourth-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue on the roster for the 2020 season?
The Jaguars front office has made it known the franchise would like to work a deal out to keep defensive end Yannick Ngakoue for the 2020 season. Getting a deal done, however, may not be as easy as it would appear.
According to FanSided.com’s Matt Verderame, it appears the star pass rusher is headed for the franchise tag, which would allow the team to work out a long-term deal for the future. Contract negotiations between Ngakoue’s camp and the Jaguars broke down and came to a screeching halt prior to the start of training camp last season.
"“League sources have told FanSided the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t intend to let their star defensive end out of the building. While hope remains for a long-term deal, it’s increasingly likely Jacksonville will need to use its franchise tag to retain Ngakoue,” Verderame wrote.“The deadline for teams to use the franchise and transition tags is March 10 at 4 p.m. ET.”"
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It makes sense for the Jaguars, who were 6-10 last season, to at least have Ngakopue under the franchise tag for 2020, which still pay him much more than the more than $2 million he received in 2019. Jacksonville was said to have offered him a deal of four years, with an average of $19 million per season.
It was a deal that was turned down because of the length and potential amount of the contract. Since being drafted in 2016 out of Maryland, Ngakopue has registered 37.5 sacks.
For the Jaguars, it’s not just about signing Ngakoue but trying to keep veterans under contract as well. Per spotrac.com, the Jaguars are over the salary cap by over $1.4 million right now.
While Verderame believes the salary cap is in play, there are other national media who believe it will be tough sledding to get a deal done prior to the start of the 2020 season.
"“The Jaguars will use the franchise tag and try to work something out, but Ngakoue’s camp is pretty upset with the team after last year’s attempted negotiations,” writes Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.“The sides were roughly $3 million apart on annual salary, and former executive VP Tom Coughlin’s decision to cut off negotiations resulted in a lot of anger. It’s going to take a while for GM Dave Caldwell to repair that relationship and a deal to get done, which means it’s unlikely Ngakoue will be in training camp.”"
Even if he were given the franchise tag, teams could still make an offer to the Jaguars for his services, as Verderame explained.
"“If tagged, Ngakoue would earn approximately $17.95 million (or $15.322 million on the transition tag),” he added. “Teams could still offer the former Maryland star a contract, but would surrender two first-round picks to sign him away on the franchise tag if the original team doesn’t match. The transition tag mandates no return, but Jacksonville would retain the ability to match any offer.”"
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