Yannick Ngakoue

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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Caldwell: Keeping Yannick Ngakoue Is Jaguars’ Top Priority

This year’s free agent class of edge defenders could include several impact players, but the Jaguars look poised to keep one of them off the market.

Yannick Ngakoue‘s rookie contract is up, and he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency. But GM Dave Caldwell has identified an agreement to ensure Ngakoue is a Jaguar next season is the franchise’s top offseason priority.

He’s a tremendous player and even a better person. I would say that’s Priority No. 1, to make sure that he comes back to Jacksonville and that he’s a Jacksonville Jaguar,”Caldwell said. “Hopefully, we can get that done where he’s here for a long period of time.”

The Jags and Ngakoue negotiated last year but could not come to terms on an extension. Ngakoue played out his contract year and ended up with eight sacks and 15 quarterback hits. The latter figure was significantly down from his 33 in 2018. But for his career, the talented pass rusher has 37 sacks and 14 forced fumbles. He’s become one of the game’s better pressure artists.

Ngakoue’s camp will be negotiating with a new-look Jaguars setup, with Tom Coughlin no longer in place atop the team’s decision-making structure. The former third-round pick stayed away from the team until training camp. The Jaguars extended Myles Jack but traded fellow 2016 draftee Jalen Ramsey. That leaves Ngakoue left on the franchise’s to-do list. The Jags still have Calais Campbell under contract and saw Josh Allen excel as a rookie. But they’re committed to keeping Ngakoue, who will not turn 25 until March.

Should the Jags go with the franchise tag for Ngakoue, it would cost them approximately $18MM. Jacksonville is projected to be $900K over the cap, so Caldwell will have work to do to clear out space to keep Ngakoue. The Maryland alum joins the likes of Arik Armstead, Jadeveon Clowney, Bud Dupree, Dante Fowler, Matt Judon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaq Lawson and Markus Golden as edge rushers whose contracts will soon expire. Some of these talents will hit free agency. It will make for an interesting several weeks on the edge defender front, with the Jaguars playing a key role in shaping the market.

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AFC Notes: Jaguars, Patriots, Randall

The Jaguars will be without several players on Sunday against the Texans, Michael DiRocco of ESPN recaps on Twitter. S Ronnie Harrison is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. CB A.J. Bouye, WR Marqise Lee, DE Yannick Ngakoue and LT Cam Robinson have all already been ruled out of the contest.

Last week, Jacksonville lost starting QB Nick Foles, who suffered a broken left clavicle in Week 1 and has been placed on injured reserve. The franchise’s collective health has put a damper on what should have been a bounceback year for the Jags. As the team carries on in Houston, let’s take a look around the AFC:

  • The Patriots worked out several players ahead of their game against the Dolphins, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Athletic (Twitter link). OT Caleb Benenoch, NT Carl Davis, DT Willie Henry, DB Josh Jones and DB Adarius Pickett worked out for New England.
  • Browns S Damarious Randall has been ruled out of Monday’s game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Randall showed up to Cleveland’s facility with a concussion and was placed in the concussion protocol.
  • A.J. Green, who injured his ankle during the Bengals‘ training camp, is out of his walking boot and feels like is he ahead of schedule in his recovery, as Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer relays. “I’m only six weeks out and I’m already walking,” Green said. “You never know what the next two weeks or three weeks are going to bring to where I can start back putting on shoes and actually running and doing some on the field stuff. You never know.”

South Notes: White, Newton, Julio, Jags

Devin White left Thursday night’s game before the lightning delay hit, but the rookie Buccaneers linebacker appears to have dodged a long-term injury. Bruce Arians said (via ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine) the No. 5 overall pick suffered a grade 1 MCL sprain. While it would seem White is in danger of at least missing the Bucs’ Week 3 game against the Giants, Arians would not rule out an immediate return.

Here is the latest from the South divisions, moving first to the Bucs’ Week 2 opponent:

  • Ron Rivera denied Cam Newton is experiencing issues with the foot he injured during preseason play or his surgically repaired shoulder. The Panthers have now lost two home games, and Newton has not played especially well in either. He completed 48% of his passes on Thursday and did not fare well against Bucs blitzes. Prior to Newton’s shoulder injury last season, he had the Panthers on track for another playoff berth and was on a better statistical run than his 2016 or ’17 slates. Now 0-2, the team will have an uphill battle to make it back to the postseason. The 30-year-old passer is signed through the 2020 season.
  • Nick Martin‘s three-year, $33MM Texans extension features fully guaranteed salaries ($6.1MM and $7.25MM) for the 2019 and ’20 seasons and a $5MM signing bonus, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The Texans center’s 2021 and ’22 base salaries of $7.25MM and $7.75MM are non-guaranteed.
  • Julio Jones‘ three-year, $66MM Falcons extension came with $64MM in guarantees, which outpaces every other wide receiver’s deal by a staggering margin. Jones’ pact also could bump up to $72MM, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweeting the 30-year-old wideout’s deal has annual escalators. It’s not yet known what benchmarks Jones would have to hit to trigger those, however.
  • Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson has received clearance to make his season debut, but Doug Marrone said (via ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco, on Twitter) the third-year blocker will be held out against the Texans. It would appear Robinson, who is dealing with a different knee problem than to the ACL tear he suffered last season, will be on track to return to his post in Week 3. He has not played since September 2018. Due to a hamstring malady, Yannick Ngakoue is also out for the Jags this week.
  • The Texans worked out cornerbacks Jeremy Clark, Rodney Randle and D.J. White, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter). Houston made a cornerback roster swap this week, releasing Aaron Colvin and signing Phillip Gaines.

Yannick Ngakoue Reports To Camp

Jaguars star defender Yannick Ngakoue still doesn’t have a new contract, but he reported to camp Sunday, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. He needed to report by Tuesday in order for 2019 to count as an accrued season towards free agency, and the 24-year-old pass rusher did not want to miss that deadline. He is now eligible for unrestricted free agency next year.

The last report concerning negotiations between Ngakoue and Jacksonville indicated that the club had offered a short-term extension to the Maryland product, which Ngakoue declined. It is currently unclear how close the two sides are to getting something done, but Ngakoue indicated that talks are not active. He said, “I don’t want to keep talking about the deal. Like I said they had a chance to sign me for a long-term deal and it didn’t get done” (Twitter link via James Palmer of the NFL Network).

However, Ngakoue’s return does restore a key piece to one of the league’s best defensive lines, a unit that includes players like four-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell and promising rookie Josh Allen. With 29.5 sacks, 70 QB hits, and no missed games over the last three years, Ngakoue has emerged as one of the best young pass-rushers in the league, and if the Jags are to return to contention this season, he will likely be a big reason for it.

Luckily, the 2016 third-round draft choice apparently doesn’t need any time to knock the rust off. Head coach Doug Marrone said that Ngakoue has passed his conditioning test and will immediately be a full participant in practice (Twitter link via John Oehser of Jaguars.com).

The team has officially removed Ngakoue from the Reserve/Did Not Report list and has waived Fish Smithson in a corresponding move.

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AFC South Notes: Henry, Lewan, Jags, Texans

Mystery still surrounds the extent of Titans running back Derrick Henry‘s leg injury, but as of now, there is no official timetable for when to expect the bruising back to return to the field, Titans online’s Jim Wyatt tweets.

The big back has missed a few days of training camp with the injury and was seen in a walking boot. Many do not expect the injury to be a serious one, but it does have an ominous feel to it after the team announced him as day-to-day on Saturday.

After taking over down the stretch in 2018, the former Alabama running back was expected to enter 2019 as the unquestioned workhorse. We will see if those plans are affected by the latest injury, but Tennessee has the likes of Dion Lewis waiting in the wings.

Here’s more from around the AFC South:

  • Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan‘s four-game suspension will cost him $3.4MM in base salary, Paul Kuharsky writes. In addition to the base salary, the Titans also be able recoup part of his signing bonus. Lewan was suspension earlier this week for violated the league’s PED policy.
  • Since Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has held out of camp for four days, he’s currently facing a fine of $160,000, ESPN’s Michael DiRocco tweets. That brings his total fine to $248,650 due to him missing mandatory minicamp. The fourth-year defensive end is expected to report back to the team in early August as he looks for a long-term deal.
  • Texans head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed Lamar Miller is the team’s lead back but the other spots behind him are wide open, ESPN’s Sarah Barshop tweets. Behind Miller, Houston boasts a large collection of unproven backs looking to make an impact, led by D’Onta Foreman.

Jaguars Offer Deal To Yannick Ngakoue

The Jaguars offered a new deal to Yannick Ngakoue, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Surprisingly, they pitched a short-term two-year deal to the youngster – a contract worth over $19MM per year with $50MM+ over the first two years. After that, Ngakoue’s camp broke off talks with the Jags. 

Still only 24, many figured that the Jaguars’ eventual offer to Ngakoue would be of the long-term variety. Apparently, the Jaguars appear willing to save some money in the near term and forego the opportunity to lock the Maryland product down through the majority of his prime seasons.

We don’t know the length of the Jaguars’ (declined) proposal, but from the sound of it, they probably pitched something less than four years. Meanwhile, Ngakoue is aiming higher. This offseason, Frank Clark inked a five-year, $105MM deal with the Chiefs with $62.3MM guaranteed. Meanwhile, Demarcus Lawrence signed a similar deal with the Cowboys that included $65MM in total guarantees. For reference: Clark is 26, Lawrence is 27, and Ngakoue just turned 24 in March.

After Clark and Lawrence nabbed deals worth ~$21MM per year on average, Ngakoue is unlikely to take any less. He’s also

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Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue Skips Camp

Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue did not report to training camp on Wednesday and won’t be with his teammates in Jacksonville, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Ngakoue continues to drive a hard bargain as he seeks a new extension. 

With 29.5 sacks, 70 QB hits, and no missed games over the last three years, Ngakoue has emerged as one of the best young pass-rushers in the league. He can stay away from the Jags for now, but he must report to camp by August 6 to earn an accrued season towards free agency.

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and there’s no denying that he is criminally underpaid, given his performance. For now, he’s slated to earn just $2.025MM in 2019.

The Jaguars would, presumably, love to lock down the Maryland product for years to come. However, the continued explosion of the edge rushing market makes this an extremely costly proposition for Jacksonville. The Maryland product, who just turned 24 in March, is undoubtedly looking to meet or top the five-year, ~$105MM deals that fellow pass rushers Demarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark signed this year, both of which came with over $60MM in guarantees.

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Contract Talks Between Jaguars, Yannick Ngakoue Break Down

Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue skipped minicamp as part of his efforts to land a new contract, and now it appears he will hold out of at least a portion of training camp as well.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that negotiations between player and team have broken down, and that Ngakoue will likely continue to stay away as a result.

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and there’s no denying that he is criminally underpaid, given his performance. For now, he’s slated to earn just $2.025MM in 2019 after racking up 29.5 sacks across three seasons.

The Jaguars would, presumably, love to lock down the Maryland product for years to come. However, the continued explosion of the edge rushing market makes this an extremely costly proposition for Jacksonville. The Maryland product, who just turned 24 in March, is undoubtedly looking to meet or exceed the five-year, ~$105MM deals that fellow pass rushers Demarcus Lawrence and Frank Clark signed this year, both of which came with over $60MM in guarantees.

Ngakoue does have to report to camp by August 6 to earn an accrued season towards free agency, so he may choose to not hold out beyond that date.

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Extension Candidate: Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue

Earlier this summer, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue skipped minicamp in an effort to push for a new contract. Jaguars football czar Tom Coughlin might not be wild about the tactic, but Ngakoue’s stand could very well pay off. 

Ngakoue is entering the final year of his rookie contract and there’s no denying that he is criminally underpaid, given his performance. For now, he’s slated to earn just $2.025MM in 2019 after racking up 29.5 sacks across three seasons.

In essence, both sides want the same thing. Ngakoue wants financial security and the Jaguars would, presumably, love to lock down the 24-year-old for years to come. However, the continued explosion of the edge rushing market makes this an extremely costly proposition for Jacksonville.

This offseason, Frank Clark inked a five-year, $105MM deal with the Chiefs after coming over from the Seahawks. And, just prior to that, Demarcus Lawrence signed a similar deal to stay with the Cowboys. Clark is 26, Lawrence is 27, and Ngakoue just turned 24 in March.

Much is made of the general lack of guarantees in NFL contracts, but top edge rushers continue to rake in guarantees that exceed other key defensive positions. Lawrence got a total guarantee of $65MM and Clark came close with $62.3MM, so there’s no real scenario in which Ngakoue would settle for less than the ~$60MM mark. Meanwhile, he’s likely looking at upwards of $21MM per season in terms of average annual value.

Still, with one year to go on his deal, Ngakoue doesn’t have much leverage. If he does not report to the Jags by August 5, he’ll lose one year of accrued service and push his potential entry into free agency back by one season.

If offered a deal that falls just shy of Clark or Lawrence’s, Ngakoue may very well “settle” and sign. If not, he’ll have to play out the final year of his rookie deal and aim for another gaudy sack total. It’s a risky proposition, but if Ngakoue can terrorize quarterbacks over another 16 game slate, he could be in position to become the highest-paid defensive player in the league.

 

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