JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has not been shy about letting people know his feelings via social media in the past, and Monday was no different.
The impending free agent caused an uproar amongst Jaguars fans Monday when he sent two ambiguous tweets about his future. In one tweet, he said, "Thank You Duval." while in another he sent a peace symbol, indicating he could be on his way out of Jacksonville.
Ngakoue, Jacksonville's third-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, entered negotiations for an extension with Jacksonville this past summer but contract talks quickly fell apart. Ngakoue reportedly turned down an offer from Jacksonville and held out of training camp for 11 days.
The fourth-year pass rusher would return from his holdout to play 2019 on the final year of his rookie deal, a season that netted him a little more than $2 million. Ngakoue has made it clear that he isn't taking any discounts now that he has already played a season on what essentially amounted to a one-year deal.
Ngakoue also hinted at a Jacksonville exit on Instagram before Sunday's 38-20 over the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2019, Ngakoue totaled eight sacks, four forced fumbles and tied a career-high in tackles for loss with 13. He capped off a solid season with a good performance vs. the Colts, including forcing a fumble that Calais Campbell returned for an eight-yard touchdown.
“You can’t let that guy leave, guys like that don't grow on trees. He plays with so much passion and he’s just scratching the surface," Campbell said about Ngakoue's contract status after the game.
"He plays with so much tenacity and he can change the game. I mean when he stripped the ball away and caused the fumble it gave me the opportunity to pick up the ball and score a touchdown for the team. I know it’s going to cost a lot to keep him, but I would not let him go.”
Ngakoue was asked about his 2020 status following Sunday's game but remained coy on his intentions, not indicating one way or another how he is leaning.
“I have been here for four years and I’ve learned a lot. Business is business and I’m not sure what the future holds," he said.
Jacksonville could of course place the franchise or transition tag on Ngakoue, keeping him off of the open market and preventing other teams from speaking with him. But there is no guarantee Ngakoue would sign the tag despite its hefty price. That is why there is so much unknown with Ngakoue's situation and where he will ultimately play in 2020.