Yannick Ngakoue: Do the Jaguars still get a deal done this summer?
Will a deal for Yannick Ngakoue materialize and will the Jacksonville Jaguars finally trade their disgruntled defensive end this offseason?
Just as Matt Verderame of FanSided.com wrote, the Yannick Ngakoue situation with the Jacksonville Jaguars bears watching over the next few weeks.
"“Ngakoue, 24, is on the franchise tag with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but has publicly stated he’ll never play another down in Duval. Thus far, general manager Dave Caldwell hasn’t flinched, but we saw Caldwell trade cornerback Jalen Ramsey last year at the deadline for two first-round picks. It’s in him to make a big move,” he writes."
While the Jaguars organization has been in the news this past week for their silent protest march because of social injustice, the front office still faces a decision it must make soon should Ngakoue decide to sit out the 2020 season. While it is true the team’s front office hasn’t changed its stance, the former third-round draft pick has been steadfast in his desires, even if he is not taking to social media as he was before to plead his case.
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"“If the two sides don’t agree on a long-term deal by July 15 — and it’s highly unlikely they will — Ngakoue will play the year for $17.8 million before hitting free agency,” Verderame continues. “The Jaguars could tag him again, but they’d lose both leverage and cap space on a player who isn’t returning.”"
If Ngakoue does play on the one-year deal, he will be part of a pass rush trio that includes Josh Allen and rookie K’Lavon Chaisson. The Jacksonville Jaguars were seventh in the NFL in sacks last season. Caldwell sent veteran Calais Campbell to the Baltimore Ravens for a fifth-round pick this offseason.
The Jaguars, according to several reports, were looking to move Ngakoue around the NFL Draft for another first-round draft pick but got no serious offers. The Las Vegas Raiders were believed to be one team interested in making a deal, one that Caldwell refuted after the draft. Because time has passed and teams are still going through the motions of planning an NFL season virtually, the need to acquire a pass rusher at the moment might be stale. That does not mean it won’t change when the Jaguars come to camp.
There is no word yet whether Yannick Ngakoue plans to hold out and not show up.
Last season, in the final year of his rookie deal, Ngakoue made just over $2M for the season, In four seasons in a Jacksonville Jaguars uniform, he had 37.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles. A breakdown in negotiations last offseason prior to the start of training camp led to a holdout that ended right before the first preseason game of the year.
Verderame still believes a trade is possible if a deal is right for both the team that makes the offer and the player.
"“Should we approach July and there’s no change of heart from Ngakoue, Caldwell would be wise to move him. A trade partner will obviously give far more for a player it can sign to a multi-year deal than for a rental,” Verderame explains.“Ngakoue is one of the best young pass-rushers in football. If Jacksonville decides the relationship is beyond repair, look for a bevy of teams to be interested.”"