Jacksonville Jaguars holding up Yannick Ngakoue trade?

By Matt Johnson
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars star edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue has refused to play another snap for the club. Despite multiple NFL teams making a push to trade for him, Ngakoue’s vow might be put to the test with the Jaguars reportedly causing problems in trade talks.

Jaguars ‘unwillingness’ to trade Yannick Ngakoue preventing blockbuster NFL deal

After failing to agree on a contract extension the previous year, the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue early this offseason. Before long, the relationship deteriorated from bad to worse.

Ngakoue got into a heated exchange with the team’s co-owner on Twitter, creating even more tension between the Pro Bowl edge rusher and his club. While several NFL teams attempted to trade for Ngakoue during the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jaguars rejected offers and set an absurd asking price.

After months of silence from both sides, the NFL’s rumor mill heated up on Tuesday. On the eve of the deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to extensions, NFL teams started making another push to land the prized pass rusher.

Unfortunately, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a deal seems unlikely. While Ngakoue wants to play elsewhere, even willing to play out the 2020 season on the franchise tag, Jacksonville’s unwillingness to agree on a deal is blocking any chance at a blockbuster deal.

The move could backfire on Jacksonville. If Ngakoue commits to not playing this season, Jacksonville loses one of its top defenders. Once the offseason hits, he could become a free agent and the best-case scenario would be a compensatory pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Yannick Ngakoue’s stats prove why he is coveted

Signing a player to a massive contract extension is now made tougher for clubs by the looming revenue hit due to the pandemic. However, it’s not often a team gets the opportunity to add a game-changing presence off the edge.

Across 15 games this past season, Ngakoue recorded 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks, six pass deflections and four forced fumbles. Of course, his stats capture how he has dominated the NFL since coming into the league.

In his first four seasons, Ngakoue has racked up 85 quarterback hits, 42 tackles for loss, 37.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and nine pass deflections. The former third-round pick is simply unstoppable coming off the edge and would be a huge addition for any contending team this season.