Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was the only no-show when veterans returned to TIAA Bank Field this week for training camp.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone confirmed what many fans knew was going to happen. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is the lone player on the team’s roster that did not show up when veterans reported to TIAA Bank Field for the start of training camp.
Ngakoue, who has not signed his franchise tender is now holding out but cannot be fined by the team for missing time at the Jaguars’ facility. There is a chance this story drags out into the remainder of the offseason.
There is also a possibility that the former third-round draft pick could opt not to play this season because he does not want to be in Jacksonville. There are 17.8 million reasons to join his teammates, but Ngakoue continues to hold his ground in asking to be traded.
Per Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com, via his Twitter account, “Jaguars coach Doug Marrone says DE Yannick Ngakoue is the only player not at camp. Says he has not had any conversations with Ngakoue.”
It’s a subject that may not be addressed until there is news to tell the local media and fan base. The Jaguars defense could use Ngakoue’s speed and ability not only to sack the quarterback but to force fumbles in the process. Marrone was direct when talking to the media via conference call on Thursday, stating he has not been in contact with Ngakoue.
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“I have not, no. Like I said before, he is one player I know who is always ready. He’s a player that is always ready and always taking care of himself. Like I said before, I am going to reiterate it again that as a coach you’d love for that perfect harmony between management and the players as far as the business end of things, and I think when you look at it both sides have rights from a management side to a player side. I think as a coach you’re always looking for a solution that you can be part of to help bring parties together,” head coach Doug Marrone told the media during a conference call on Thursday.
“[General Manager] Dave Caldwell would probably be able to better speak on where everything is at as far as talks or whether they have talked or not because with all of the stuff that we’ve had and the change, you’ve got to remember now, we didn’t receive a lot of this information or the deal wasn’t struck with the PA until really close to the time. The amount of research, the amount of reading, the amount of questions that come up, really the majority of my time has been with the protocols and keeping players safe and being able to see what the best way is to ramp this thing up.”
The Jaguars front office has said this offseason it would welcome Ngakoue back to the team and continue to focus on the game and how he helps this defense with the pass rush. He and Josh Allen could be one of the more formidable combinations in the NFL this season. If he signed his tag offer, then he would also be able to use this season to possibly audition for another organization this coming offseason.
The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line looks different than last season as Calais Campbell was traded to Baltimore and Marcell Dareus, who was injured most of last season, was released due to salary cap reasons. Caldwell drafted pass rusher/linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson from LSU in the first round in April.