Yannick Ngakoue

Yannick Ngakoue Prepared To Sit Out 2020 Season?

As you probably know by now, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville. He is not inclined to sign his $17.788MM franchise tender, and while he wants a new contract with an average annual value in excess of $20MM, he does not want to sign such a contract with the Jags.

We heard yesterday that the 25-year-old is still pushing for a trade, but given the amount of draft capital Jacksonville has asked for in the past — in addition to the fact that an acquiring team would have to pony up a $100MM+ payday, a tough sell in this COVID-19 climate — a trade does not seem especially likely at this point. However, a burying of the hatchet between player and team seems equally unlikely, and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network is hearing that Ngakoue could sit out the entire 2020 season (video link).

A key point here is that Ngakoue just finished his rookie contract and has yet to sign a second professional deal. Although the new CBA is harsher than its predecessor with respect to holdouts, those stricter provisions only apply to players who hold out after having signed a contract as a veteran. So while a full-year absence would toll Ngakoue’s service time, it seems he can hold out through training camp and a chunk of the regular season without worrying about mandatory fines and losing an accrued season.

A young pass rusher like Ngakoue is a hot commodity in today’s NFL, but as it stands right now, if he wants to play this season and earn a paycheck, he will have to do so with the Jags. Of course, an injury and/or more clarity with respect to the 2021 salary cap could make a rival club more inclined to discuss a trade, and it sounds like Ngakoue is willing to wait.

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Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue Still Wants Trade

They say that time heals all wounds. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that doesn’t apply to their ongoing saga with Yannick Ngakoue. With two weeks to go before the franchise tag extension deadline, Ngakoue’s stance remains unchanged (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). The defensive end still wants a trade and still doesn’t want to sign the one-year tag.

[RELATED: Five Franchise Tagged Players Have Yet To Sign Tenders]

The Jaguars claim that they’ve tried to mend fences with the 25-year-old. GM Dave Caldwell has also claimed that they haven’t received any offers for Ngakoue. Translated, that probably means that they haven’t been offered enough to part with the young edge rusher.

Ngakoue has registered at least eight sacks in each of his four pro seasons, including a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2017. Plenty of teams would surely like to add Ngakoue, but they’ll only part with so much in the way of draft capital, because acquiring Ngakoue also means giving him a lucrative long-term deal in line with the market.

Ngakoue wants to join the $20MM+ defensive lineman club, but he doesn’t want his induction to come in Jacksonville. For now, he’s facing a one-year, $17.788MM tender that he also says he doesn’t want. If they can’t work things out by the deadline, Ngakoue figures to hold out through training camp at the very least. The threat of a holdout could extend into September as well, but that would be costly in the short-term and the long-term. A full-season holdout would delay Ngakoue’s potential free agency by another year and recreate the same problem in 2021.

The Eagles, Seahawks, and Browns have been keeping their eyes peeled for DEs, but no team wants to commit mega dollars to players with the possibility of major cap restrictions after this year. Besides, the Eagles’ 2021 cap situation is cramped as is, and the Seahawks are running low on available funds for the current year.

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Five Franchise Tagged Players Have Yet To Sign Tenders

Teams have until July 15th to hammer out long-term deals with franchise tagged players. As of this writing, there are five players who have not signed their one-year tenders: Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, Broncos safety Justin Simmons, Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, and Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue

[RELATED: Dak Prescott Still Wants Four-Year Deal; Cowboys Want Five-Year Deal]

The franchise tag is a sore spot for players, because it prohibits them from realizing their true value on the open market. Sometimes, players begrudgingly sign on the dotted line after skipping out on a portion of offseason activities. There have also been some notable holdouts to extend into the regular season – Le’Veon Bell, for example.

You can put Green in the former camp. The Bengals superstar wants long-term security from the only team he’s ever known, but he says he’ll sign the one-year tender if they can’t come to terms.

In the past, Simmons has indicated that he won’t skip Broncos activities, but Mike Klis of 9News speculates that agent Todd France could talk him into playing some hardball. Offers have been exchanged between the two sides, but, for now, the safety is looking at a one-year, $12.7MM proposition.

Jones – currently in line for a $16.1MM deal – has expressed frustration with the slow pace of negotiations with the Chiefs. The Chiefs, meanwhile, already have a $20MM defensive lineman in Frank Clark. Barrett, who said he’d be a good sport about signing the tender, says he’s expecting to have some movement by tomorrow, though it’s not clear if that means receiving an extension offer or putting pen to paper.

Ngakoue, of course, is prepared to go to war with the Jaguars. The two sides have been locked in a heated stalemate for a long time and the Jags say they won’t cave to the defensive end’s trade demand.

Trade Candidate: Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue

Yannick Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville. He’s made that crystal clear at this point, even taking his gripes to social media in a back-and-forth with co-owner Tony Khan. The Jaguars say they’re keeping him – per the terms of his franchise tag – but they did entertain the idea of trading him prior to the draft. Today, the two sides are still locked in the same stalemate. Ngakoue wants out and management says he isn’t going anywhere.

I think his options are very limited at this point in time,” GM Dave Caldwell said recently. “We’ll welcome him back with open arms when he’s ready to come back, and we look forward to it.”

Caldwell also claimed that he did not receive any offers for the 25-year-old edge rusher, but we’re guessing that it’d be more accurate to say that the Jaguars did not receive any offers to their liking. Ngakoue is a young talent at a premium position with a solid track record of production. He’s posted at least eight sacks in each of his four pro seasons, including a career-high 12.5 sacks in 2017. There’s no team that would say no to having Ngakoue on their roster, but every team is skittish about coughing up lots of draft capital and a top-of-the-market deal for him.

So, what’s next? Ngakoue has no interest in signing a long-term deal with the Jaguars and he wants to get his ~$20MM-per-year payday somewhere else. He hasn’t signed his $17.788MM tender and the Jaguars now find themselves in a tricky situation. Will they blink? If the right offer comes along, they probably will.

The Eagles were eyeing Ngakoue earlier this year and it stands to reason that they’d still like to have him. They’ve got the space to take on his tender amount, too, with ~$24MM free in 2020. Just one problem – the Eagles’ books are a bit of a mess in 2021 and they’ll need to roll over a good chunk of today’s space to make the numbers crunch work. With that in mind, the Eagles are much more likely to sign Jadeveon Clowney on a one-year deal instead, though the veteran’s current asking price is too rich for their blood. You can’t rule out an aggressive win-now trade from Howie Roseman, but he’d have to convince Ngakoue to play out his tender in Philly.

The Browns, another reported Clowney suitor, could be better equipped to take on Ngakoue – they’ve got more cap room than anyone else in the league, plus flexibility in 2021. They have players of their own to take care of, too, but it’s at least feasible. What doesn’t seem feasible is a resolution between Ngakoue and the Jaguars. Despite everything Caldwell & Co. have been saying, we’d be surprised if Ngakoue played out the year in Jacksonville.

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Jaguars Received No Offers For Yannick Ngakoue

The Jaguars did not receive any offers for Yannick Ngakoue, GM Dave Caldwell says (via ESPN.com’s Mike DiRocco). With that, they’re planning to have him on the roster in 2020, though the defensive end won’t be happy about that. 

I think his options are very limited at this point in time,” Caldwell said. “We’ll welcome him back with open arms when he’s ready to come back, and we look forward to it.”

The Jags discussed a deal with the Raiders earlier this week, but those talks didn’t go anywhere and they fizzled well before the draft started on Thursday night. Also this week, Ngakoue and owner Tony Khan took their battle to Twitter. The two traded barbs as Ngakoue pushed the Jaguars to hurry up and trade him.

He is a tremendous player, tremendous person,” Caldwell said. “He’s always been first class in everything he’s done here, in the locker room and through his time here, the first four years of his contract. Obviously, he feels like things have not gone the way he wanted. In some aspects, he may have a point. But we put our best foot forward not once but twice, and I hope he sees the light that Jacksonville is a good spot, and it could at the end of the day be his only option.”

Ngakoue has yet to sign his non-exclusive tender for 2020, which would pay him $17.8MM. What he wants is a deal that would be worth roughly $20MM per season – but he doesn’t want it in Jacksonville.

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Raiders, Jaguars Discuss Yannick Ngakoue Trade

The Raiders called the Jaguars with interest in defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. The conversation happened on Wednesday, but the talks did not go anywhere and nothing seems imminent as of Thursday morning, per that source. Charlie Campbell of Walter Football (Twitter link) was first to relay the Raiders’ interest in Ngakoue. 

[RELATED: Weak Market For Fournette?]

Ngakoue would be costly for Las Vegas, in every sense. In addition to draft capital, the franchise-tagged defensive end is seeking a monster extension that would include substantial cashflow and guarantees in 2021 and 2022. That’s a major holdup for the Raiders and every other team that would be interested in the 25-year-old edge rusher.

Ngakoue has made it clear that he does not want to return to Jacksonville under any circumstances. Earlier this week, he traded barbs with owner Tony Khan, urging him to hurry up and trade him.

The relationship is broken beyond repair and a trade could go down this week. Still, nothing seems imminent and a deal might not get done until the Jaguars significantly reduce their asking price.

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Yannick Ngakoue Lashes Out At Jaguars

Yannick Ngakoue is getting restless. On Monday, the defensive end took to Twitter to express his frustration with the Jaguars and their reported lack of momentum on trade talks. 

[RELATED: Jaguars Haven’t Received Offers For Ngakoue] 

Tired of the back and forth @Jaguars,” Ngakoue wrote. “Let’s get this s— done.”

The 25-year-old also tweeted at team co-owner Tony Khan, telling him to “stop hiding.”

I’m not in hiding sir, I’m in isolation getting ready for the draft,” Khan replied. “I’ve been pretty active on social media in isolation, but you wouldn’t know that since you unfollowed me (again).

After that, Ngakoue challenged Khan to “let the world in on the truth.” The truth, he says, is that the two men agreed that the December game against the Chargers would be Ngakoue’s last in a Jaguars uniform. After that, Ngakoue accused Khan of trying to “backdoor the situation” while avoiding calls from his camp.

Khan went on to say that tweeting insults at him wouldn’t get Ngakoue traded any faster, thereby implying that the team is indeed willing to deal its disgruntled star. And according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, that’s news to rival teams. Though other clubs have talked trade with the Jags, no offers have been made to date, perhaps because Jacksonville was making it clear that it was not really serious about moving Ngakoue. If that was the case, it now seems as if the Jags really are open for business.

If it wasn’t obvious before, the barbs make it crystal clear: Ngakoue absolutely wants out of Jacksonville and the relationship seems to be broken beyond repair.

The former third-round pick engaged in extension discussions last year, but a Jaguars short-term offer helped lead to Ngakoue skipping the team’s offseason program. Shortly before the Jags cuffed him with the franchise tag this offseason, Ngakoue announced he had no intentions of signing a long-term deal with the team. It’s been bumpy ever since.

Jacksonville has parted ways with most of the players that played key roles for its 2017 AFC championship game-qualifying team. The Jags traded Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell since October. They released Malik Jackson last year and cut Marcell Dareus to save money in March. The team has shopped Leonard Fournette as well.

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Latest On Jaguars, Yannick Ngakoue

The Jaguars haven’t gotten any real bites on running back Leonard Fournette and they’re in a similar boat with Yannick Ngakoue, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com hears (on Twitter). The franchise-tagged defensive end has been discussed, but there have been no offers. 

[RELATED: Weak Market For Fournette?]

Ideally, the Jaguars would like to find a deal for Ngakoue before Thursday night, allowing them to add picks in this year’s draft. But, to get a deal done, they may have to scale back their asking price. At last check, the Jaguars were asking for a first-round pick, plus more.

Every team in the league would love to add Ngakoue, a 25-year-old edge rusher with a long track record of getting to the quarterback. Still, any club trading for him would have to cough up serious draft capital and sign Ngakoue to a whopping new deal. So far, that’s proven to be too rich for everyone’s blood. Meanwhile, Ngakoue says he’s not interested in moving forward with the Jags.

The Jaguars are aware I no longer have interest in signing a long term contract in Jacksonville,” tweeted Ngakoue after he was franchise tagged “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.

With at least eight sacks in each of his four NFL seasons – including 12.5 sacks in 2017 – the former third-round pick has outperformed expectations by every measure. But, for what it’s worth, the advanced metrics called his value into question last year. Instead of trading an early round choice for Ngakoue, teams in need of edge help could hold on to their picks and sign the likes of Jadeveon Clowney.

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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.