Minutes after agreeing to terms with Chandler Jones, the Raiders are clearing out a starting spot and a salary slot for the All-Pro pass rusher. They are expected to trade Yannick Ngakoue to the Colts, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin is coming back in the deal. The Raiders and Colts have been working on this swap for the past day or so, Rapoport adds (on Twitter). Las Vegas, understandably, did not pull the trigger on a deal until its Jones agreement came through. No draft picks are changing hands; this is a player-for-player swap. This trade will cost the Raiders $8MM in dead money.
The Colts will be Ngakoue’s fifth team in the past three seasons. The former Jaguars standout made his way to the Vikings, Ravens and Raiders from 2020-21, being dealt late in the summer of 2020 and then being moved before that season’s deadline. After signing with Las Vegas, Ngakoue is being traded for a third time. Ngakoue, who will turn 27 later this month, registered 10 sacks last season. The former third-round pick has 20 forced fumbles over the course of his six-year career.
This will give the Colts a veteran edge presence they lacked last season and provide DeForest Buckner with a proven outside sack artist. The Colts used first- and second-round picks on defensive ends in the 2021 draft — Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo — and will now spend some cash on the position. After the Carson Wentz trade, Indianapolis entered free agency with its usual cap-space war chest. Ngakoue is signed through the 2022 season, on a $13MM-per-year accord.
While this trade will reunite Ngakoue with Gus Bradley, the Jaguars’ head coach when Ngakoue was drafted and the Raiders’ DC when he arrived in Vegas last year, it will send Ya-Sin to a Raiders team in need at cornerback. After a bounce-back year with Bradley, Casey Hayward is a free agent. A 2019 second-round pick, Ya-Sin will come to Vegas with one year remaining on his rookie contract.
Ya-Sin started 29 games with the Colts. While the Temple product has not played at a Pro Bowl level and only has two interceptions as a pro, the Raiders will shed salary here and land a player with considerable experience. After an up-and-down start to his career, Ya-Sin finished the 2021 season with a career-best 53% completion rate allowed when targeted. Pro Football Focus assigned Ya-Sin the fifth-best man-coverage grade last season.