Report: Yannick Ngakoue 'Still Desires a Trade' From Jaguars
The clock is quickly ticking for Yannick Ngakoue and the Jaguars to come to terms on what 2020 holds for the two sides, but thus far it does not appear as Ngakoue is budging much on his desire to leave Jacksonville.
According to a report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Ngakoue "still desires a trade". Ngakoue has yet to sign the franchise tag tender the Jaguars placed on him in March, and Fowler reports the fifth-year defensive end has no immediate plans to do so.
Jacksonville, or any team that trades for Ngakoue, has until July 15 to reach a multi-year agreement with the 25-year-old defender or else he will be forced to play under the franchise tag in 2020, in the event he does decide to play. This leaves just a few weeks for the Jaguars to find a trade partner for Ngakoue if they still hope to get some value from his departure, but the deadline is fast approaching and it doesn't appear as if there is many indicators of a trade happening anytime soon.
If Ngakoue does sign the tender, he will be on a one-year deal and be guaranteed $17,788,000 in 2020, which would be the highest cap hit on the Jaguars' roster and the fourth-highest cap hit among all defensive ends.
"As far as that goes, I try not to comment too much on the situation. I try to be very pragmatic about it. Truth be told, we exercised the franchise tender. We weren’t able to get a trade. Actually, weren’t even really able to get an offer," Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said following the first round of the NFL Draft in April.
"So, I think his options are very limited at this point in time. We’ll welcome him back with open arms when he’s ready to come back and we look forward to it. Yann, for the people on this call and who have been around him realize he is a tremendous player, tremendous person, has 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 things have not gone the way he wanted and, in some aspects, he may have a point. But we put our best foot forward not once, but twice. 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, 25, has 37.5 sacks in his career (second-most in Jaguars' history), 42 tackles for loss, and 14 forced fumbles. Ngakoue recorded eight sacks and four forced fumbles for the Jaguars in 2019. His best season came in 2017, where he recorded a career-high 12 sacks and six forced fumbles and was named to his first Pro Bowl.
Ngakoue's issues with the Jaguars stem back to the 2019 offseason. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Ngakoue sought a big-money extension from Jacksonville but the two sides failed to come to any agreements, with the Tom Coughlin-led front office eventually alienating the 2016 draft pick.
Ngakoue would enter a holdout during the 2019 training camp which lasted 11 days. He eventually returned to the team and started 15 games for Jacksonville, recording eight sacks, four forced fumbles, 13 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits.
"What happened between me and Jacksonville is very simple. The organization had an opportunity to keep me long term last offseason, things kind of broke off," Ngakoue said during a televised interview on ESPN in April.
"So, you know, everything happens for a reason and not everything lasts forever," Ngakoue said on ESPN. "Things come to an end and it's time for me to move on to the next chapter of my career. And I am forever thankful for what Jacksonville has brought to me and my family, but it is time to move on."