Yannick Ngakoue: To stay or not to stay in Jacksonville
Today is the deadline for Yannick Ngakoue to sign his franchise tender the Jacksonville Jaguars have offered him this offseason.
Yannick Ngakoue has toned down his rants on Twitter of late. Instead of taking shots and Jaguars management, his latest remarks have been subdued to an extent.
- Trust God in everything you do.
- Help the next man out.
- Tell your family you love them. Life short.
- Treat your people right.
These are a far cry from the man who has used social media as his sounding board to take jabs at the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason as the team has been unable or unwilling to trade the defensive end this offseason and offered him a chance to remain with the team using the franchise tag to the tune of $17.8M for the 2020 season.
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Mind you, that is less than what the Jaguars front office allegedly offered Ngakoue last offseason, who was believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $19M per season on what was considered a short-term deal.
Did we mention Ngakoue, who just finished the fourth year of his rookie deal, made just over $2M last season?
The saga of soap opera – whichever you would call this relationship over the past 12 months is about to end one way or another. The former third-round pick who has 37.5 sacks in his career and 14 fumble recoveries, with either sign the franchise tag tender and play one more season in Jacksonville, leave it on the table and sit out the 2020 season, or sign the deal with the understanding he will be traded before the start of training camp.
Jaguars fans are to the point they are split on their feelings about Ngakoue and his relationship with their beloved Jaguars. They too want this to be over and for the situation to evaporate into the thick, warm wind that surrounds Duval County.
There are only a few hours left before we all know what happens and how it will affect the Jaguars this season. Having Ngakoue on the field, though he may hold out over training camp, helps the team’s defense. Not having his in the lineup leaves a hole to fill.
The Jacksonville Jaguars brass was mindful enough to bring in other talents in free agency and through the NFL Draft to either compensate for losing one of their top remaining stars or to find the right combination of players to replace the productivity on the field.
Either way, this is a situation that should have been handled better. There is culpability on both sides as to how his contract negotiations could have gone. You cannot put the full blame on the former vice-president of football operations, Tom Coughlin. You cannot say Ngakoue should have taken the deal put in front of him if he did not think it was fair. And fans and media alike cannot say this situation has not affected the organization if indeed Ngakoue stays here in black and teal another season.
Personally, I believe Yannick Ngakoue signs his franchise tender today, and the team still works to trade him before the start of the 2020 NFL season. I’d be shocked if he were playing inside TIAA Bank Field in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
A bridge has been almost completely burned. Head coach Doug Marrone made it a point before the NFL Draft that the front office and coaching staff want players in the locker room without drama. Some of that has already been eliminated. Now, it’s time to see what happens with Ngakoue. Can he sign the contract, play here in Jacksonville without the drama? Or, will he sign the contract but become an even bigger disturbance for a team looking to rebuild?
We only have a few hours left to find all of this out.