Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue became a free agent earlier in March and has yet to join a team. Earlier this year, there were reports about Yannick and the Jacksonville Jaguars having a mutual interest in a reunion but he remains unsigned. The former Maryland Terrapin recently said that he would like his next home to be a Super Bowl contender. The Jags fit the bill, so why not them?
Speaking to Bruce Murray and Rick Spielman on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Yannick says that he's ready to find a long-term home, "Just for me personally, up until a couple of stops, I just feel like instead of doing visits, I'm ready to have a staple home and just be able to be on a multi-year deal", Ngakoue said. "I can just be able to ground myself and start on things like really focusing on my family, trying to start a family. Things like that.
"In that aspect, that's my thinking and my thought process going into that. Like I said, whoever ends up taking a chance on me, I'm just excited to go back out there and play some real football", Ngakoue said.
Regarding the kind of team Ngakoue is looking for, he says he wants to play for a contender.
"At this stage of my career, being in my later 20s, I definitely want to play for a contender, play for a team, an organization that wants to win the Super Bowl, and that's one of the things on my agenda is to be able to help and contribute to that. So hopefully, I can get some great interest from a contender", Ngakoue said.
Ngakoue, a third-round pick in 2016, became a staple of the Jaguars' defense, registering 37.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, and two interceptions in four seasons. However, a contract dispute played a role in him getting shipped in 2020. Before landing with the Indianapolis Colts last year, he spent time with the Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Jaguars could be a temporal home of Yannick Ngakoue if he chooses
In spite of the constant turnover, Ngakoue has remained productive, tallying 27.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles over the last three years. He's now looking for a long-term deal and having previously shown interest in returning to the Jags, it's fair to wonder if they should consider bringing him back.
The Jags currently have over $11 million in cap space, so they could easily afford to sign Ngakoue. However, he's made it clear he's looking for a long-term deal and it's unknown if Jacksonville would be willing to give it to him. After all, they refrained from making splash signings in the offseason because they're aware they need to pay their own players next year.
On the other hand, the Jaguars need to bolster their pass rush, and adding Ngakoue to their rotation would give them a huge boost. The team's brass expects their young players — Yasir Abdullah, Jordan Smith — to contribute but they might need time to develop. Meanwhile, Yannick could have an impact right off the bat.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have built a well-rounded roster and have their sights set on returning to the playoffs. Signing Ngakoue could certainly help but would the front office feel comfortable moving away from the approach to roster-building they've taken over the last few months? They should most definitely give it a thought.