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Yannick Ngakoue Agrees to $6 Million Pay Cut to Join Vikings

The former Jaguars defensive end must've really wanted to get out of Jacksonville.

The Vikings and Yannick Ngakoue have come to terms on a one-year, $12 million deal, as first reported by SI's Albert Breer. That means the former Jaguars defensive end is taking nearly a $6 million pay cut from the $17.788 million he was set to make on the franchise tag.

What does that mean? For starters, it means Ngakoue really wanted to get out of Jacksonville. Taking a slight pay cut to leave a bad situation and go to a contender is one thing, but a 33 percent cut is a major sacrifice for a star player. Considering Minnesota has a state income tax and Florida doesn't, that pay cut will end up being even higher than $6 million.

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the deal doesn't come with a no-tag clause. That means the Vikings could theoretically tag Ngakoue in 2021. The Vikings reportedly made this move with the intention of signing him to a long-term deal next offseason, but you never know in the NFL.

For the Vikings, this means they technically don't need to make a move to get under the cap. Depending on which site you trust, Minnesota has somewhere between $12.2 and $13 million in cap space. This deal for Ngakoue fits under that. Still, I'd expect the Vikings to make some sort of restructure or cut to free up space, because teams don't like to be pressed up that close to the cap.

In 2020, Danielle Hunter and Ngakoue will both be massive bargains for the Vikings, with a combined cap hit of $21 million that is less than the solo cap hits of four edge rushers.

That $21 million number is going to increase significantly in 2021 and beyond, though. Hunter's cap hit increases to $17.75 million next season, and he could potentially be in line for a restructure/extension soon. Ngakoue turned down a long-term offer from the Jaguars that would've paid him $19 million per year, which gives you a sense of what he'll be looking for in a new contract next offseason.

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For now, the Vikings can enjoy having two of the best young edge rushers in the league at a discount price.

Ngakoue tweeted that he's excited for this new chapter in Minnesota:

He won't be able to report to practice until later this week, as he needs three negative COVID-19 tests in four days to pass the protocols.


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