With time running out on the potential to get a long-term deal done, will Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue sign his franchise tag tender?
Wednesday is the day the Jacksonville Jaguars will know what their 2020 defense will look like for the upcoming season. That’s the day, at the 4 P.M. deadline for NFL teams to sign franchise-tagged players to extensions. For the Jaguars and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, it’s not looking too positive.
As both sides seem to remain at a standstill, there is a sinking feeling the pass rusher will not sign his one-year deal and could possibly sit out the season.
It’s not anything new as this has been the chatter everyone has heard all offseason. Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville. The Jaguars’ front office either hasn’t received serious trade offers or won’t make a deal unless they are compensated to their satisfaction.
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And the sand through the hourglass continues to spill at a steady speed. There are 14 players who have been offered the franchise tag this offseason.
“According to ESPN.com, but three have yet to sign their tenders: Yannick Ngakoue, Chris Jones, and A.J. Green. Franchise tag figures are based upon the top five salaries at each position.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars have made moves this offseason that would indicate they are working to get ready for the 2020 season with and without Ngakoue on the roster. The $17.8M franchise tag has been factored into the team’s available salary cap money, which is just over $19M. The defense was addressed mightily this offseason with additions through free agency and the NFL Draft. Keeping Ngakoue on the roster would be a huge boost to what the coaching staff has done during the virtual phase of the offseason program.
“The Jaguars were unable to work out a long-term deal last season, which led to Ngakoue skipping most of the voluntary workouts and OTAs and mandatory minicamp and holding out for 11 days at the start of training camp. He got off to a slow start because of a hamstring injury but finished with eight sacks and four forced fumbles in 2019,” Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com writes.
“The thought was that the departure of Tom Coughlin (fired in December) would have made negotiations a little easier this offseason because Ngakoue’s camp was angered by Coughlin’s reported decision to cut off negotiations last July after roughly a month of talks. However, the sides made little if any progress. Ngakoue announced March 2 that he had told the Jaguars he didn’t want to sign a long-term deal. He has since asked for a trade.”
And with that demand has become reality television-type of offseason that has included a spat through Twitter with Tony Khan, the son of owner Shad Khan, over what was said at the end of last season between the player and executive.
Plenty has changed with the Jacksonville Jaguars front office since that alleged conversation. And when it was brought up during the NFL Draft, general manager David Caldwell told the local media there hasn’t been a serious offer for a deal involving the former Maryland star.
And the clock keeps ticking.
There have been teams mentioned as possible destinations for Ngakoue such as Philadelphia and Las Vegas, but nothing has materialized. There could still be a deal in the works before training camp, but Ngakoue would first need to sign his franchise tender, and then the team that agrees to trade for him would need to offer a long-term deal as part of the trade agreement.