5 moves that sent Jaguars into a tailspin after the 2017 season
3. The Jaguars should have paid edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
Yannick Ngakoue was worth keeping around. If you have a dominant player that can create mismatches for the players around them you have to keep them. The money that he wanted was pricey but was worth every single cent. Do you blame him for wanting to maximize his value? Players worry about their long-term job security and they have a limited shelf life. While teams need to have to manage the salary cap and keep costs at a minimum, they also need to keep their playmakers around.
A dominant defensive line allows you to pressure the opposing teams. If you watched many of the games this year have seen what it is like when you cannot get pressure on quarterbacks. The Jaguars’ games against the Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts games in the 2021 season prove what happens when teams become one-dimensional. That in turn lets defenses drop more players to help with coverages or send extra players on blitzes.
During his four-year stint in Duval, Ngakoue posted 37.5 sacks, 42 tackles for a loss, 14 forced fumbles, and even two interceptions. Clubs pay top-market money for that kind of production in free agency, so it was a puzzling decision to trade a top edge rusher for second and fifth-round draft picks.
If Ngakoue had not been traded, he would have formed a formidable duo opposite Josh Allen and the Jags’ pass rush would have been significantly better these past two years.