Time is running out for Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to sign his franchise tag tender of $17.8M for the 2020 season.
With only a handful of days left for Ngakoue to sign his franchise tag tender, the longer the tug-o-war continues between the player and the organization, it appears less likely a deal gets done to send the former third-round pick on his merry way.
Ngakoue is not alone as other NFL veterans are in the same predicament, not having put pen to paper. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones are also wondering whether or not to end their suspense and show up to camp with a one-year deal in their hands.
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Ngakoue would make $17.8M under the conditions of the contract, which would be plenty more than the $2M he played for in 2019.
There has been plenty of contention between both sides this offseason, where Yannick Ngakoue used social media to call out the front office for not getting a deal done. It continued to fester until a war of words broke out with Tony Khan, the son of team owner Shad Khan, about what the former Maryland pass rusher claims he was told prior to the end of last season.
Ngakoue has been a bit more subdued lately, which could mean he is either weighing his options or hoping the Jaguars front office can pull off a deal with the next few weeks, freeing him from being in North Florida this coming season.
Which team will make the first offer? As we discussed earlier today, there was a trade proposed by ESPN.com’s Field Yates (subscription) involved Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku and a second-round pick for Ngakoue. Whether other teams have called general manager David Caldwell to test the waters of a potential deal, no one knows.
"“Another key thing to remember about the July 15 deadline is that it only allows a franchised player to sign a one-year deal past that point,” James Johnson of USA Today’s Jags Wire wrote. “That puts a team that wants to trade for him in a situation where Ngakoue would be on a one-year rental plan. That said, the interest level would be higher if he comes with the flexibility for a long-term deal.”"
Ngakoue made it known before he told the Jaguars front office that he did not want a long-term deal with the team, that he was seeking a deal at $22M per season, which may have priced himself out of the market. There are other free-agent defensive linemen, including Jadeveon Clowney who have not signed a deal with a new or existing team this last in the offseason.
Cleveland may be a fit for Yannick Ngakoue. Other teams – the New York Jets, New York Giants, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills could jump back into the picture as the deadline approaches.