If the Jaguars can work out a deal to trade defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, where would he play in 2020?
So now that we know that Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue no longer seeks a long-term deal to play in Jacksonville, the team’s front office must determine what to do next with the young pass rusher.
It has been reported by ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter that Jacksonville intends to use the franchise tag for Ngakoue, which will pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $19.3M this coming season. Using the tag also means the team can hold his rights while trying to work out a trade deal. Allowing him to leave via free agency yields the Jaguars nothing in return for his services.
There has been plenty of banter the past couple of weeks over teams that would be interested in Ngakoue should he have hit the free-agent market. Does that mean the strategy of those teams and potentially others has changed? Ngakoue and Jadeveon Clowney figured to be the two best pass rushers available this offseason.
Now, the Jaguars have time to make a deal work not only for Ngakoue and his agent but to also find a team willing to give the organization adequate compensation in return.
What will happen is to be determined.
Assuming that Ngakoue will not play in Jacksonville under the franchise tag this coming season, which four teams are most likely to make a deal for him? This is purely speculation, but here are a few thoughts.
The one thing Jaguars fans do not want to see is Ngakoue lining up against them as a member of an AFC South rival. It has been reported by Horseshoe Heroes here on FanSided.com that the Colts would have an interest in him in free agency.
Todd Karpovich of SI.com writes the Ravens could be in the market for a pass rusher this offseason because of free agent moves the team may deal with this offseason. Ngakoue played football at Maryland and the talk of him going back “home” has been a topic discussed last season on different websites.
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"“Baltimore finished with 37 sacks last year, which ranked 21st in the NFL. Their top pass rusher, Matthew Judon, is an unrestricted free agent and could command a big payday on the open market,” Karpovich added.“Coach John Harbaugh said the team will use all of its resources to boost personnel, via free agency or the NFL Draft.”"
Because of their own salary cap issues, the price tag might be a little high for a deal to get done, but this could be a way the Jaguars acquire tight end Hayden Hurst and a high draft pick (maybe a second-rounder?) for Ngakoue.
There has been no mention of the Redskins seeking to acquire Ngakoue’s services, but since it is another team near his college playing days, I decided to throw it out there. the recent news about the Redskins potentially pivoting from selecting Chase Young of Ohio State with the second pick in the NFL Draft got me thinking about this.
"According to reports, “The Redskins told Tua Tagovailoa they want to bring him to Washington to compete with second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins during their meeting at the NFL combine, a source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.”"
That means the Redskins may be in the market for a pass rusher. if they decide to look via a trade, Ngakoue may be their best option. We also know team owner Daniel Snyder isn’t shy about spending money.
New York Giants
Yes, the Giants should still be in play here. They have been the most talked-about team the past few weeks when it was thought Ngakoue would test free agency.
"“New York’s pass-rush was maybe the worst area of an overall poor defense, finishing with only 36 sacks (22nd in NFL),” writes John Shipley of SI.com. “The Giants have the money to pay Ngakoue ($61,887,217 million in projected cap space per OverTheCap), and a 3-4 defensive scheme that would help Ngakoue flourish as a stand-up pass-rusher. From nearly every angle, the Giants fit for Ngakoue if he hits the open market.”"
One thing that could play out here is a deal involving the fourth and ninth pick in the NFL Draft. Could the Jaguars wait until draft night and work a deal with the Giants.
If the Detroit Lions take Young with the third pick, it opens the door for the Jaguars to offer Ngakoue and the ninth pick to move up to number four where they could take Jeffrey Okudah.
The Giants could still get a defensive lineman there or a prized offensive tackle.