Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has wanted out of Jacksonville for a while now, and he appears to finally be getting his wish. The Jaguars have worked out a trade with the Minnesota Vikings.
Jacksonville will receive a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round draft pick that could be upgraded to fourth-round pick if Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl in 2020, according to Adam Schefter. The fifth-round pick could become a third-round pick if Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl and Minnesota wins the Super Bowl.
Ngakoue, a 25-year old with 37.5 career sacks already to his name, went into the offseason wanting to be the highest paid defensive end in the league. But instead of a long-term deal Ngakoue and the team couldn’t come to a deal and the team decided to franchise tag him.
More than once, Ngakoue let it be known he wanted out of Jacksonville, either by tweeting directly to owner Tony Khan or in interviews. The team fielded interest, but nothing seemed imminent even after Ngakoue didn’t sign his franchise tag or show up for training camp.
The Jaguars have gone into full rebuild mode, as they’ve slowly let key pieces of their once dominant defense go for draft picks. Ngakoue caught the team at the right time, as they weren’t planning on winning now and their star defensive end could bring them draft picks while saving them some cash if they traded him away. The trouble was compensation, as whoever traded for Ngakoue would have to pay him and sign him to a new contract.
It appears as though the Vikings made the best offer. They are in win-now mode and are willing to give Ngakoue closer to what he’s asking for due to their circumstances. There is no doubt that he upgrades their defensive line and should give them a real boost in their playoff and Super Bowl aspirations.