Yannick Ngakoue

Latest On Yannick Ngakoue

The Jaguars are asking for a “first-round pick and more” in trade talks involving franchise-tagged edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue, sources tell Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Ngakoue has requested a trade and indicated he is not interested in signing a long-term with Jacksonville, and the Jaguars have reportedly received some level of interest in the 25-year-old.

Ngakoue will collect $17.788MM under the terms of his franchise tender, but he’s apparently looking for more than $20MM annually on a new deal, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Currently, only three edge rushers exceed the $20MM threshold: Khalil Mack, Demarcus Lawrence, and Frank Clark.

It remains to be seen if any club is willing to deal a first-round pick and give Ngakoue a massive extension. The Chiefs performed such a maneuver in acquiring Clark from the Seahawks last offseason, but many teams might shy away from sacrificing such draft capital simply for the right to extend Ngakoue. That could be especially true when another edge rusher — Jadeveon Clowney — is still available on the open market and has reportedly lowered his asking price.

Ngakoue, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, has posted at least eight sacks in four of his NFL campaigns, but other metrics were down on him in 2019. Among edge defenders with at least 50% playtime, Ngakoue finished just 25th in pressures (51), per Pro Football Focus. And data points like ESPN’s pass rush win rate and double-team rate largely painted Ngakoue as an average rusher, as The Athletic’s Ben Baldwin recently noted on Twitter.

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AFC South Notes: Colts, Ngakoue, Titans

The Colts clearly made a quarterback upgrade a top priority this offseason. In addition to the research done on Philip Rivers and Tom Brady, and a Nick Foles trade inquiry with a division rival, the Colts looked into Andy Dalton. The Colts discussed Dalton with the Bengals, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link). It is not clear how far the discussions progressed, but Rapoport suggests Dalton would have needed to agree to reduce his 2020 salary. The veteran quarterback is set to make $17.5MM in base salary. The Colts viewed Rivers as a better option than Foles, Rapoport adds, and may well have felt the same about the prospect of giving up assets for Dalton as opposed to paying Rivers $25MM.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Yannick Ngakoue still wants out of Jacksonville. The franchise-tagged defensive end insists he wants a trade from the Jaguars because of issues with the franchise that do not involve money, the disgruntled defensive end tweets. The Jaguars fired executive VP Tom Coughlin late last season. Grievances came the Jags’ way due largely to Coughlin’s actions, and Jalen Ramsey expressed issues with the since-dismissed exec. Ngakoue still harboring ill will toward the franchise suggests he took issue with Jaguars staffers beyond Coughlin. Ngakoue left Jags OTAs last year, skipped minicamp and broke off extension talks with the organization. The Jags were believed to have taken the unusual step of offering Ngakoue a short-term deal. It appears he will be traded this offseason.
  • Logan Ryan remains a free agent, but it does not seem the door is closed on the veteran cornerback returning to Tennessee. The Titans have maintained talks with Ryan’s representation, Tennessee GM Jon Robinson said Wednesday. The last we heard on Ryan, the longtime starter was holding out hope for a $10MM-per-year offer. That being nearly two weeks ago points to Ryan maybe needing to settle for less.
  • Robinson expressed similar strategies regarding his team’s backup quarterback and backup running back situations. The Titans are not satisfied with these spots, though they are not ruling out respective promotions for Logan Woodside and Dalyn Dawkins. However, Robinson said the team will keep monitoring the free agent market and look in the draft for potential upgrades. The Titans released Dion Lewis, their complementary back of the past two years, and predictably let Marcus Mariota walk in free agency.
  • The Titans also will hold a kicking competition. They signed Greg Joseph off the Panthers’ practice squad last year and moved on from Ryan Succop this offseason, but Robinson adds that the team will bring in another kicker to vie for the job with Joseph. Tennessee kickers made a stunning eight field goals last season, going 8-for-18 on the season.

Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue Drawing Trade Interest

Multiple clubs have reached out to the Jaguars with interest in defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). Ngakoue, who turns 25 today, might continue his (remote) celebration with another club. 

Ngakoue said he wanted out of Jacksonville, but the Jags franchise tagged him anyway. Many assumed that this would be Step 1 towards a tag-and-trade, but that’s not necessarily the case – the Jaguars know that he’s one of the most talented young edge rushers in the game today and they could try to reconcile their differences.

The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville,” Ngakoue tweeted a couple weeks back. “Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I’m thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere.

That sentiment hasn’t changed. Ngakoue took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to offer his response to Garafolo’s report:

Let’s agree to disagree . Why hold a man from taking care of his family. It’s obvious my time is up in my current situation. Let’s both move on @Jaguars 🏁

Any trade for Ngakoue would require a massive haul in return. It’s believed that the Jaguars are looking for a first-round pick, and then some. It’s a big ask, but not an unrealistic one given Ngakoue’s youth and performance. Since entering the league as the No. 69 overall pick in the 2016 draft, he’s tallied at least eight sacks per season. And, in 2017, he earned a Pro Bowl nod with 12.5 QB takedowns.

The Eagles have reportedly been eyeing Ngakoue and they’re surely not alone. The Jets would be logical suitors, too, though they don’t have him high on their list. Meanwhile, the demand will increase if Jadeveon Clowney is re-signed by the Seahawks or scooped up by another club.

For now, the defensive end is slated to play out the 2020 season with the Jaguars on a one-year, $17.8MM deal.

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AFC East Notes: Jets, Gordon, Lawson

Devoting significant resources to retooling their offensive line, the Jets have not address their edge defender situation. Jordan Jenkins remains a free agent, but the team has not made a strong effort to re-sign their sack leader of the past two years, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes. As far as the bigger names out there, the Jets are still not prepared to pay up for Jadeveon Clowney and do not have Yannick Ngakoue on the front burner, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. The Jets have explored an Ngakoue tag-and-trade move but are not planning to pursue the disgruntled Jaguars defensive end, Cimini adds. Gang Green will need to make multiple moves outside, however. Tarell Basham resides as the top edge rusher on the Jets roster; he registered two sacks last season.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Bills may or may not have expressed interest in Melvin Gordon. While 9News’ Mike Klis tweets that the Bills submitted an offer better than the Broncos’ two-year, $16MM proposal, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter indicated Buffalo did not do so (Twitter link). Regardless of whether an offer emerged, Schefter adds (via Twitter) Gordon’s agent did contact the Bills about a deal. The Bills are all set to go with Devin Singletary again; Frank Gore is a free agent.
  • George Fant‘s three-year, $27.3MM Jets deal essentially doubles as a one-year, $9.25MM investment, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. If the veteran tackle is still on the Jets’ roster by Day 5 of the 2021 league year, $4.45MM of his $8MM 2021 base salary becomes guaranteed, per OverTheCap. This still represents a nice deal for Fant, whom Mehta adds was only targeting $6MM per year before the Jets swooped in with their offer.
  • Shaq Lawson signed a three-year, $30MM Dolphins deal. While many teams prefer to backload free agency contracts, the Dolphins set Lawson’s up so he has a $10.3MM 2020 cap number, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Miami did this in order to lessen Lawson’s 2021 and ’22 cap hits, which OverTheCap lists as $9.3MM (’21) and $10.3MM (’22) figures.

Latest On Yannick Ngakoue

We’ve already seen a few splash trades go down since the new league year began, and the next one many people have been talking about is the Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue. The defensive end has stated publicly that he doesn’t want to be in Jacksonville, so when the Jags franchise-tagged him anyway, many assumed it was the precursor to a tag-and-trade.

But while there’s been a ton of speculation, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that there’s nothing brewing on the trade front right now, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com (Twitter link). The fact that there’s no traction could have something to do with what Jacksonville is looking for. People around the league believe the Jaguars are looking for a compensation that “began with a first-round pick,” sources told Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The Jags’ demands make sense given Ngakoue’s consistent production and the fact that he’s only 24, but it also makes sense why teams would be reluctant to part with a first-round pick considering he isn’t quite considered to be among the league’s true top-tier outside rushers. The Eagles are one team that’s been linked to some pass-rushers, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that they have “a lot of interest” in Ngakoue.

Any team that trades for Ngakoue will likely immediately try to sign him to an extension, so it sounds like they’ll have to give up an early pick and dish out a big payday. The Maryland product was drafted 69th overall back in 2016. He’s had at least eight sacks in each of his four pro seasons, and made the Pro Bowl in 2017 when he had 12.5.

He’s also had at least four forced fumbles in three of those seasons, and led the league with six in 2017. Right now he’s in a bit of a stalemate with the Jaguars, and we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.

 

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Jaguars Franchise DE Yannick Ngakoue

Another long-rumored franchise tag candidate received that designation Friday. The Jaguars will apply their top tag to Yannick Ngakoue, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Teams have until 10:59am CT to apply tags.

Ngakoue profiles as this year’s most logical tag-and-trade candidate, however. Ngakoue has said he no longer wants to play in Jacksonville. But for now, the would-have-been free agent defensive end will be tagged at $17.8MM.

Ngakoue skipped the Jags’ offseason program last year while angling for a new contract but reported for training camp. Of the edge rushers who have been tagged or are expected to be tagged, the soon-to-be 25-year-old edge rusher has displayed the most consistency. The 2016 third-round pick has posted at least eight sacks in all four of his seasons, topping out with 12 to go with six forced fumbles in the Jags’ 2017 “Sacksonville” season.

The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville,” Ngakoue tweeted. “Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I’m thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere.

Should the Jags entertain the prospect of trading another of their acclaimed 2016 draftees, interest will surely emerge. The Seahawks have already surfaced as a potential Ngakoue suitor, and they executed two tag-and-trade deals in 2019. Ngakoue joins Matt Judon and Bud Dupree as this year’s crop of edge rushers who could be tagged and then dealt.

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Seahawks Interested In Yannick Ngakoue?

A year after being part of two tag-and-trade transactions involving edge rushers, the Seahawks may be interested in another such move.

The Seahawks are interested in Yannick Ngakoue, Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com notes. The Jaguars are expected to use their franchise tag on the veteran defensive end, but Ngakoue has let it be known he is no longer interested in signing a long-term deal to stay in Jacksonville.

While Ngakoue is set to be tagged, he profiles as a tag-and-trade candidate. Last year, the Seahawks franchised Frank Clark and traded him to the Chiefs before acquiring Texans franchise player Jadeveon Clowney via August trade. Seattle remains interested in extending Clowney before he becomes a free agent March 18 but may not be willing to make a major bid to retain the pass rusher. The former No. 1 overall pick is predictably receiving extensive interest as he prepares to be a first-time UFA.

It cost the Chiefs first- and second-round picks to acquire Clark, a zero-time Pro Bowler in Seattle who registered 35 sacks in his four Seahawk seasons, and a third-rounder last April. Ngakoue has one Pro Bowl on his resume, in 2017, and has 37.5 sacks through four seasons. Because of the Clark trade, Seattle holds two second-round picks this year.

Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell has accumulated 10 draft picks this year, two coming from the Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye trades. He expressed interest in acquiring more, per John Reid of the Florida Times-Union. Jacksonville’s eighth-year GM said earlier this year keeping Ngakoue was his top offseason priority, but with Ngakoue the second Jags 2016 draftee to inform the franchise he wants out in the past six months, will the franchise begin tag-and-trade negotiations?

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Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue Wants Out

The Jaguars will use their franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue, sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the pass rusher took to Twitter on Monday morning to announce that he is not interested in a long-term deal with the club. 

The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville,” Ngakoue tweeted. “Duval, I love you and gave you guys everything I got. I’m thankful for the journey and look forward to continuing my career elsewhere.

At this point, it seems like the Jaguars will wind up having to tag-and-trade the standout defensive end. They’ll find plenty of interest in him if that’s the case – over the last four years, Ngakoue has notched 37.5 sacks for the Jaguars and 14 forced fumbles (fourth in the NFL in that span, behind only Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones, and T.J. Watt. He’s been durable as well; he never missed a game until last year.

The soon-to-be 25-year-old had another standout campaign in 2019, finishing with 41 tackles, eight sacks, six passes defended, and four forced fumbles. The former third-rounder discussed an extension with the team last offseason, but those talks did not lead to a deal and it seems that he is not long for Jacksonville.

The franchise tag for defensive ends is expected to cost upwards of $19MM for 2020.

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South Rumors: Titans, Luck, Jags, Falcons

Perhaps no team’s free agency plan hinges on the CBA more than the Titans‘. They have three marquee free agents, and the previously reported goal of extending Ryan Tannehill soon looks to have an auxiliary purpose. The Titans’ hopes of extending Tannehill before the franchise-transition tag window closes March 12 doubles as a way to keep Tannehill, Derrick Henry and Jack Conklin. Tennessee would then like to use both its tags on Henry and Conklin, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. The Conklin component here is interesting, as little has emerged on a possible reunion between the tackle and the Titans. It will almost certainly require a tag to keep the former first-round lineman off the market. Conklin has generated immense interest thus far.

This Titans plan might not be viable, leading to some frenetic extension talks in order to prevent them from losing two members of this trio. Teams may not be permitted to use both tags. While a ruling has yet to emerge, the possibility of a CBA ratification forcing a team to vacate one of its tags remains in play.

Here is the latest from the South divisions:

  • No surprise here, but the Jaguars are prepared to use their franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue, La Canfora adds. The standout defensive end held out from Jags offseason activities last year and will not be pleased the team will prevent him from hitting the market, per JLC. The Jaguars not picking up Marcell Dareus‘ option freed up $20MM in cap space, giving them just more than $21MM — just enough for an approximately $18MM Ngakoue tag. GM Dave Caldwell called Ngakoue the team’s top priority at the end of last season.
  • Jim Irsay appears to be hoping Andrew Luck will change his mind, but Frank Reich does not expect him to. The Colts HC continues to talk to the team’s former franchise quarterback, but those discussions apparently do not progress to the subject of a comeback. “I talk to him; we communicate. I sense none of that. We don’t talk about that,” Reich said, during an appearance on PFT Live, about an NFL return for the 30-year-old passer. “I think he’s retired. He’s like any other ex-player. You’re always going to miss your buddies in the locker room. That’s normal. I don’t read into that a clue that he wants to come back. He’s just a good friend.”
  • A Falcons cog for seven seasons, Kemal Ishmael will likely have to find another team in order to continue his career. The seven-year veteran linebacker-safety will not be brought back, according to Ishmael’s agent (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). The Falcons have shuttled the 28-year-old defender/special-teamer between safety and linebacker and have re-signed him to one-year deals in each of the past three offseasons.

Latest On Jaguars DEs Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue

Count Jaguars owner Shad Khan among those who’d like to see the team’s top defensive ends return to Jacksonville next season. Khan told Jaguars.com’s Ashlyn Sullivan that the organization wants to retain both Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue (via John Oehser of the team website).

“Both of those players – Yannick and Calais – I had chats with them after the season,” Khan said. “I would love for them to be back and I’m very hopeful they’ll be back.”

We heard back in January that the Jaguars’ front office had made Ngakoue a priority, and rightfully so. The 24-year-old had another standout season in 2019, finishing with 41 tackles, eight sacks, six passes defended, and four forced fumbles. The former third-rounder will hit unrestricted free agency this spring, but Oehser is confident he won’t be going anywhere; if the two sides can’t agree to an extension, there’s a good chance the Jaguars slap Ngakoue with the franchise tag.

Campbell is a different story, as the veteran has a cap hit of $17.5MM in 2020. The team could save upwards of $15MM if they moved on from the 33-year-old, but there’s a better chance that the two sides will work on an extension that lowers that cap hit. Campbell hasn’t missed a game since joining the Jaguars, and he finished the 2019 campaign having compiled 6.5 sacks. The lineman is also well-respected, and he was the team’s first ever recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

“I think he’s a fabulous guy and I think his contributions … everybody understands, knows, respects,” Khan said.

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