Another blockbuster NFL trade took place this Saturday, with a disgruntled star once again successfully forcing his way out of town and landing with a new team.
Safety Jamal Adams and his public dispute with the New York Jets led to the Seattle Seahawks sending a massive haul to the Jets for 2017 No. 6 overall pick. In all, the Jets traded Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022 to the Seahawks for safety Bradley McDougald, a first-round pick in 2021, a third-round pick in 2021 and a first-round pick in 2022.
Adams made sense as a fit for an abundance of teams throughout the league, including the Jacksonville Jaguars. And while the Jaguars have three first-round picks over the next two years, and plenty of cap space to sign Adams to a future deal, the team was wise to not enter the Adams sweepstakes considering the steep, steep price the Seahawks paid and the uncertainty with the NFL's salary cap moving forward.
But while the Jaguars didn't deal for Adams, and while they don't play the Seahawks or Jets in 2020, Jacksonville was still impacted by the monumental trade in a roundabout way.
Ever since Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue publicly stated in March that he had no interest in signing a long-term deal with the team, the Seahawks had long been pegged as one of the theoretical leading candidates to acquire the former Pro Bowl pass-rusher. Now, the Seahawks can officially be eliminated from consideration as they instead opted to add Adams to their defense.
From a fit and needs perspective, Ngakoue and the Seahawks seemed like a perfect match. Ngakoue fits Pete Carroll's system and what he looks for in defensive ends, while Seattle is in desperate need for pass-rush production following the expiration of Jadeveon Clowney's one-year tender with the team.
Seattle struggled to get to the quarterback with Clowney on their roster last year, tying for second-to-last in NFL with 28 sacks and not having a single player with more than four sacks recorded in 2019. Ngakoue, meanwhile, is a 25-year-old who has 37.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and a Pro Bowl honor on his resume since being drafted in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Ngakoue may not be an elite pass-rusher, but he is as consistently productive as they come in the NFL considering he has recorded at least eight sacks in every season of his career. A young, productive, athletic defensive end like Ngakoue made perfect sense for the Seahawks from an on-field perspective, and the fiery and hardworking Ngakoue would have fit right in with Seattle's culture as well.
Add in the fact that Seattle traded for a franchise-tagged defensive end just last year and have traded multiple first-rounders for veterans in the last decade, and there weren't many reasons on paper that a deal wouldn't have made sense.
But now, the Seahawks simply don't have the ammo to even consider making an offer for Ngakoue that the Jaguars would be interested in. Jacksonville, much like the Jets with Adams, are staunch in their conviction that they won't take a deal for their star defender that isn't a massive haul. After losing two first-round picks, and now loads of future cap space, the Seahawks and Ngakoue are simply no longer a fit.
Perhaps the Seahawks have never had significant interest in Ngakoue, but it is official now that Ngakoue won't be playing in the Pacific Northwest in 2020. The chances of Ngakoue being traded to begin with greatly diminished once the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multi-year contracts passed, but Seattle was perhaps the most logical trade partner for the Jaguars from a hypothetical perspective.
It has been a likelihood that Ngakoue would either play for the Jaguars or not play at all since the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft came and went without any trade. Now, that likelihood is even stronger. There is no end in sight for the Jaguars and Ngakoue, potentially in small part due to the end finally coming for Adams and the Jets.