The Vikings are finalizing a trade to send defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. In exchange, the Vikings will receive a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick.
The Vikings acquired Ngakoue from the Jaguars earlier this year for a 2021 second-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Jags. They weren’t able to recoup everything they gave up, but they did manage to get a decent amount of draft capital for the mercurial edge rusher.
After COVID testing, Ngakoue will be able to join the Ravens in practice during their bye week. His first game with Baltimore will come next Sunday, against the Steelers. The Ravens have been chasing Ngakoue for the last few months, and the interest has been mutual. Ngakoue, a Maryland native and a Terrapin alum, will debut with his third pro team in familiar surroundings. The deal also reunites Ngakoue with Calais Campbell, who played together and started together in the Jaguars’ 2017 AFC Championship Game.
“We are excited to add Yannick Ngakoue to our football team,” Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “Yannick is someone who we are very familiar with going back to the draft process years ago. He is an exciting player and a dangerous pass rusher who makes us better. Yannick grew up here. He’s the type of person we welcome in our building. Finally, we are not finished building this team, as we continue to chase our ultimate goals.”
The Ravens and Jags were deep in talks at one point, but the Ravens’ salary cap situation ultimately prevented a deal from happening. Ultimately, Ngakoue agreed to reduce his 2020 salary from ~$18MM to $12MM in order to facilitate a trade to the Vikings. The Maryland product likely would have been willing to make a similar concession to make a Ravens trade work, but even a $12MM salary would have forced Baltimore to create cap space elsewhere via restructure or extension. Today, they had more room to work with, thanks to help from Brandon Williams and other reworked deals.
Ngakoue figures to provide a major boost for the 5-1 Ravens. Meanwhile, the trade reads as something of a white flag for the Vikings, who are 1-5 and quickly falling out of playoff contention.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.