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Report: Jaguars struggling to trade Leonard Fournette, Yannick Ngakoue

Matt Johnson
Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette against the Raiders
Dec 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) stands on the sideline before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars head into the 2020 NFL Draft looking to make significant changes with two first-round picks, all while shopping stars Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue. Despite the team’s best efforts to trade two of their biggest names, though, it might be a while before a deal for either player happens.

The Jaguars have shopped Fournette and Ngakoue for more than a month, setting a high asking price that teams have been unwilling to meet. Now, with the draft just a few hours away, Jacksonville is not struggling to find a market for their star running back and edge rusher.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, the Jaguars are having a hard time gaining traction in trade talks for either star player. There is a small market of partners for Fournette and Ngakoue, with Jacksonville also negotiating from a point without any real leverage.

The trade market for Ngakoue is likely more lucrative than it is for Fournette. Jacksonville’s top edge rusher is an outstanding player entering the prime of his career and recorded 37.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles in his first four seasons.

However, Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville and refuses to play for the organization under the franchise tag. The 25-year-old also hurt his trade value and the team’s leverage in trades, by publicly demanding a trade and calling out the co-owner.

The Jaguars are seeking a first-round pick for Ngakoue, which feels increasingly unlikely given the team that acquires him would also need to sign him to a massive extension.

While there is at least some interest in Ngakoue, the same can’t be said for Fournette. Between struggles staying on the field, a poor work ethic and pedestrian numbers, NFL teams seemingly aren’t interested in giving up a valuable pick for him.

Fournette carries an $8.6 million cap hit this year before becoming a free agent. Given all of the questions surrounding him and that his talent doesn’t merit the risks, the Jaguars might be lucky to get a Day 3 pick for a player they spent the No. 4 pick on three years ago.