Will the Jacksonville Jaguars and Yannick Ngakoue learn to work together this coming season as the two sides continue to be at odds?
Yannick Ngakoue wasn’t the only player who did not get his wish on Wednesday and now is one of 12 NFL stars who will play on the exclusive franchise tag.
While I understand the defensive end and former Pro Bowl player wants out of Duval County to put this chapter of this short career behind him, the $17.8M he will get from the Jacksonville Jaguars this coming season is no small potatoes. And when you consider he barely made over $2M in the final year of his rookie deal, it looks like it’s a nice payday for a rising pass rusher.
I am a little concerned about the fence the two sides broke, with Ngakoue using social media to berate his current employer and the Jaguars front office, which stood firm in wanting the “right” deal to come along, can be mended.
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If you look at the bigger picture, this becomes another contract season for Ngakoue and the Jacksonville Jaguars once again have the leverage of trying to offer another long-term deal or give him the franchise tag again in 2021.
The reality is the Jacksonville Jaguars need Ngakoue as he is still one of their top five players on the roster. With him in the lineup, with Josh Allen and the potential of rookie first-rounder K’Lavon Chaisson, the Jaguars pass rush has a chance to be even better than last season.
It was reported by several outlets that Ngakoue’s camp has been working to find a trade partner where he could move on from Jacksonville and still play under the franchise tender, but as it looks right now, the Jaguars front office holds the leverage in this type of situation. Regardless if the team may have overvalued Ngakoue, manager David Caldwell is in no hurry to make a deal.
It could also come down to a situation later in the offseason where a team that is a contender needs help with their pass rush, thinks the team is close to a Super Bowl run, and will give up more compensation than it wanted because of panic.
It happens all the time.
All of the back and forth, however, as Kevin Patra of NFL.com, writes, could put the Jaguars in the same situation the Houston Texans were in last season.
"“The team’s stance could be put to the test as the season approaches if Ngakoue insists he’d rather sit out than play for Jacksonville,” Patra writes. “Last year, the Houston Texans traded franchise-tagged Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for a third-round pick linebacker Jacob Martin and pass rusher Barkevious Mingo. Given the Jags’ posture thus far, that sort of haul would be a major bummer for Jacksonville.”"
The Jacksonville Jaguars still have time to find a suitor for Ngakoue, if they choose. Or, in a perfect world, Ngakoue will sign his franchise tender after training camp and report for work. Either way, this is one relationship that will need serious counseling if it is going to work in 2020.
I can’t see both sides being completely happy, but in the NFL the dollar figure is what sets the bar and if the player can be motivated to make more of it, then the two sides can peacefully coexist – Jaguars fans hope.