The Jacksonville Jaguars now know what it will cost to keep Yannick Ngakoue on the team’s roster in 2020. Are they willing to pay that kind of money?
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write a story regarding the Jacksonville Jaguars and professional wrestling, but the recent news about the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end and pass-rush specialist Yannick Ngakoue has allowed me to do just that.
In the immortal words of former WWE superstar Ted DiBiase, every man has his price. In regards to Ngakoue, who is set to hit free agency if a deal with his current team cannot be worked out, it’s $22 million per season.
According to Michael DiRocco, of ESPN.com and other news outlets, Ngakoue is seeking a long-term deal with an annual salary in that price range. The dollar figure is above what has been estimated with regard to the former 2016 third-round draft pick out a Maryland. While he is considered one of the top pass rushers in this year‘s free-agent market, I myself question whether he is the best out there.
With Jadeveon Clowney set to hit the market as well, how does a deal for the Seattle pass rusher affect Jacksonville’s stance when dealing with their soon-to-be fifth-year player?
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"“Ngakoue wants a long-term deal and is seeking about $22 million annually,” DiRocco writes.“He also indicated late last season that he would be unlikely to show up until the Aug. 11 reporting deadline for players under contract if he had to play on the franchise tag.”"
Jaguars will not bring back defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and linebacker Jake Ryan, which saves the team roughly $25 million under the salary cap. Jacksonville was dangerously close to either being right at the limit or according to different outlets or over the limit with a major restructuring of contracts to be done.
It is expected that Jacksonville will make other decisions regarding high-priced veterans in the coming days, but the Ngakoue situation looms large for the future of this organization.
A.J. Bouye, Andrew Norwell, Marqise Lee, and Geoff Swaim are all potential cap casualties, which would make more cap money available for the Jaguars. The team must also determine whether it can afford to pay defensive end and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Calais Campbell the $15 million he is due this season, or either work out a deal to restructure his contract or potentially release him. Doing so would cost the team $17.5 million in dead cap space.
The one thing that Jaguars do not want to do is create another situation as they faced with quarterback Blake Bortles, which cost the team $15.5 million in debt Space last season.
"“All he has done since the Jaguars took him in the third round in 2016 is rack up 37.5 sacks (second on the franchise’s all-time list) and 14 forced fumbles,” DiRocco adds.“The tag would be for approximately $19.3 million, which is doable because the Jaguars are expected to release several players in the coming weeks to clear about $35 million.”"
I believe a deal with Ngakoue’s agent will get done at some point. But just like DiRocco and other analysts, I think it happens after the Jaguars place the franchise tag on their star and work a long-term deal out.