The Jaguars may be on the verge of ending the Yannick Ngakoue impasse. They are “extremely close” to a deal that will send the disgruntled defensive end elsewhere, Mike Lombardi of The Athletic reports (on Twitter).
A team has submitted a firm offer to the Jags, with Lombardi adding that a second-round pick may well be the compensation. This rumored trade could occur as soon as today, Lombardi adds. Any team that trades for Ngakoue cannot extend him until after the season. The franchise tag deadline passed more than a month ago, putting Ngakoue in a similar position to Jadeveon Clowney last year.
The Raiders resumed their Ngakoue pursuit before training camp, re-engaging with the Jags on trade talks, per Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). The Jags and Raiders discussed an Ngakoue deal in April, but talks did not progress. Las Vegas has 2019 draftees Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby spearheading their pass rush, but the Raiders’ perennially shaky defense could certainly use a player of Ngakoue’s caliber.
Although a report last week indicated the Jets were not interested, Lombardi tweets the team is involved in this pursuit. Gang Green has done surprisingly little to upgrade its edge rush this offseason, so Ngakoue would surely help the cause. The Jets are not believed to be interested in Clowney. The Seahawks were a rumored Ngakoue suitor prior to the draft. They pulled off a similar deal last August, landing Clowney from the Texans for a third-round pick and change. They have again been linked to Clowney, and Clay Matthews has surfaced on Seattle’s radar.
Ngakoue has not reported to the Jaguars but has hired a new agent, according to Neil Stratton of InsidetheLeague.com (on Twitter). This may be accelerating the trade talks. Ngakoue fired his previous agent last week. Jacksonville received multiple offers for Ngakoue before the tag deadline. While the ideal time to trade the fifth-year defender would have been before July 15, the 2021 salary cap’s uncertainty may not make a rental scenario too damaging for the Jags’ compensation. Still, a first-round pick and change — which the Chiefs paid for Frank Clark last year — was previously rumored as the price.
Ngakoue, 25, has been at odds with the Jaguars for months. He has vowed never to play for the team again, though he did check in with Jags brass earlier this summer. The former third-round pick would certainly upgrade a team’s pass rush, having racked up 37.5 sacks in four seasons. The Jags trading Ngakoue would continue their rebuilding path. They have already dealt Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye over the past 10 months.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.