Some Jacksonville Jaguars fans may hold a grudge toward former defensive end Yannick Ngakoue following an offseason of turmoil in which he constantly attacked the team's management publically, but don't expect for some players to feel the same way.
While Ngakoue's breakup with the Jaguars can only be compared to Jalen Ramsey's in terms of its messiness and overall drama, Ngakoue still built a reputation for himself within the locker room of TIAA Bank Field during his four seasons. And with Ngakoue traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick on Sunday, some of his former teammates were able to give him a public sendoff.
But what about a teammate Ngakoue never played with during his 63 regular season (and three postseason) games in Jacksonville?
Rookie first-round defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson may have never went to battle with Ngakoue on Sunday's, but he is clearly aware of not just who he is and what he has done in his career, but of how he is viewed upon in Jacksonville.
On Sunday, Chaisson made it clear he has nothing but respect for the player he is serving as a direct replacement for. When a fan tweeted at Chaisson a derogatory remark about the new Vikings pass-rusher, Chaisson made his feelings on the subject clear.
"No need for that. Yann has done a lot for this franchise and has been a tremendous idol to follow," Chaisson replied. "Wishing the best for him and his future is something we all should do. "
It is no surprise to see Chaisson have this kind of classy and respectful attitude considering who he has shown to be, as well as knowledge of how respected Ngakoue truly was in the locker room. While fans rightfully feel slighted by the 25-year-old Pro Bowler for the way he conducted his business as he attempted to leave the franchise, it needs to be noted that players understand the NFL is a business.
Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen, who has already formed a close bond with Chaisson, has likely filled the rookie in on just how helpful Ngakoue was for him during his own rookie season. Allen went on to retweet Chaisson's support of Ngakoue, which is little surprise considering Allen and Ngakoue's own close relationship.
When it comes to respect, players and fans simply have different definitions. It is understandable why some are upset with Ngakoue (and with the franchise), but it is also more than understandable why some currently on the team still hold him in high regard.