For Jacksonville Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue, Sunday could have been the last time we see him in a Jaguars’ uniform. Ngakoue will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
During training camp, Ngakoue held out for 11 days with the hopes of trying to get a new deal, but both sides could not work out a contract.
In four seasons, the 24-year-old Ngakoue has 37.5 sacks, including 8.0 sacks in 2019. If it were up to Jaguars DE Calais Campbell, there is no way Ngakoue leaves Jacksonville.
“You can’t let that guy leave, guys like that don’t grow on trees,” Campbell said after the Jaguars’ 38-20 victory over the Colts. “He plays with so much passion, and he’s just scratching the surface. He plays with so much tenacity, and he can change the game. I mean, when he stripped the ball away and caused the fumble, it gave me the opportunity to pick up the ball and score a touchdown for the team.
“I know it’s going to cost a lot to keep him, but I would not let him go.”
Ngakoue added, “I have been here for four years, and I’ve learned a lot. Business is business, and I’m not sure what the future holds.”
Campbell is right. In a league where teams throw the ball a lot, you are going to need a guy that can get after the quarterback, especially a talented guy like Ngakoue. Also, with the way rookie DE Josh Allen(10.5 sacks) played in 2019, Ngakoue and Allen could anchor Jacksonville’s defensive line for years to come.
There will be new management and probably a new coach in Jacksonville next season, so maybe things could be smoothed over, and Ngakoue and the Jaguars can come together on a new deal. If they can’t come together on a deal, maybe Jacksonville would slap the franchise tag on Ngakoue. With his talent and age, it probably would not be wise for Jacksonville to let Ngakoue walk.