Jacksonville Jaguars edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue was ready to cash in big at age 25.
If Ngakoue could have become a free agent, he likely would have made far more than the five-year, $70 million deal Robert Quinn signed with the Chicago Bears. Given his age and production, Ngakoue probably would have been the top pass rusher on the free-agent market. A report by ESPN in February said he wanted $22 million per season, and he probably would have gotten at least close to that.
But, the franchise tag. Instead of getting a long-term deal, Ngakoue got a one-year tag for about $19.3 million. It is a nice payday for sure, but far, far less than he could have gotten as a free agent. It’s easy to see why players hate the franchise tag.
Ngakoue used his birthday to publicly ask the Jaguars again to let him go.
Yannick Ngakoue wants a trade from Jaguars
Ngakoue, who turned 25 on Tuesday, replied to a tweet from NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo that said the Jaguars have heard from multiple teams about a trade but they were not going to sell low on their star pass rusher.
Ngakoue had previously tweeted he didn’t want to play for the Jaguars anymore, and the team immediately gave him the franchise tag.
Ngakoue has 37.5 sacks in four seasons. He is a top player at one of the most valuable positions in the NFL and is in his prime. He played out his rookie contract.
And he has no choice on what happens next, other than continuing to ask for a trade.
Trade talks could heat up before draft
The draft will be a crucial week for Ngakoue.
If the Jaguars are going to trade him, it’s likely to happen before the draft. Once the draft passes, the chances for a trade drop significantly. Then there would be a showdown between the team and the player on whether he’d play for the tag in 2020.
There are a few weeks to go before the draft. Ngakoue will likely keep asking the Jaguars for a new start.
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